Closing the Demand-Supply Skill Gap in Saudi

demand supply gap in saudi
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With heavy investments in sectors like construction & infrastructure, technology, renewable energy, tourism, and healthcare, KSA is serious about diversifying its economy and reducing its dependency on oil. However, rapid development in these sectors is only one side of the coin. On the other side is a big challenge that businesses are facing – an acute shortage of skilled workers. This shortage becomes more pronounced in industries requiring niche skills like information technology, engineering, and advanced manufacturing.

Addressing the Demand-Supply Skill Gap in Saudi

In this article, we explore how this demand-supply skill gap in Saudi can be closed or at least minimized.

Mindset Change Towards Vocational Education

To address the skills gap, the first step would be to prepare the locals for the jobs of the future. By providing opportunities for vocational and skills-based training, the Saudi government is trying to build a generation that has the necessary skills. However, Saudis still attach more value to degree-level education rather than vocational training. This needs a mindset change and Saudi youth should be encouraged to pick up skills that are relevant to the changing times. Only then will the new generation be looked at as a valuable talent pool rather than a hiring compulsion.

Making Private Sector Jobs More Appealing

Historically, most of the Saudi nationals were employed by the State. The private sector depended on outsourced talent both for managerial roles and manual labor. However, the State cannot continue to support the job requirements of a growing population. Saudis need to look at the Private Sector as a viable career option. Building a strong employer brand by providing work-life balance, competitive salaries, and job security can work wonders for the private sector to attract the right kind of talent.

Encouraging More Women to Join the Workforce

Thanks to many government programs, Saudi Arabia’s female labor force participation rate more than doubled between 2017 and 2023, going from 17.4% to 36%. However, despite several measures taken by the government, women continue to lag when it comes to their representation in the Saudi workforce.

Access to quality education and training, equal growth opportunities, equal pay, and a safe work environment can encourage more women to join the workforce and help lessen the skill gap in Saudi.

Investing in Training and Development:

Taking a cue from IBM, companies can play a pivotal role by investing in training programs that improve the local workforce. To ensure a steady pipeline of qualified talent, the industry can collaborate with educational institutions to develop curricula that match industry needs. On-the-job training and apprenticeship programs are also effective methods to bridge the skills gap.

Leveraging Technology:

Last but not least, businesses and job seekers should use technology to their advantage to bridge the skill gap. While on the one hand, it will enable businesses to find the right talent, on the other hand, it will make it easier for candidates to find suitable jobs.

At Innovations, we offer two key technological solutions designed to bridge the skills gap in KSA effectively: the Candidate Search Portal and the Innovations Global Job Search App.

The Candidate Search Portal

A hiring platform tailored to meet the unique needs of businesses operating in Saudi Arabia. It offers several features to help companies bridge the skills gap:

  • Advanced Search: Its advanced search filters allow businesses to specify their candidate requirement – from skills and experience to location and education levels.
  • Extensive Candidate Pool: With thousands of active candidates on the platform, businesses get access to a diverse talent pool from various industries and backgrounds.
  • Seamless Communication: A robust back-end team helps businesses identify more profiles matching their requirements and schedule interviews.
The Innovations Global Job Search App

A mobile app available both on Google Play and App Store, it allows job seekers to find and apply for jobs on the go. With an easy-to-use interface and features like push notifications, candidates can find relevant jobs across blue and white-collar roles, apply to them directly, and keep track of their job applications.

The App empowers job seekers, providing them the tools to bridge the skills gap and secure rewarding employment opportunities.

The demand-supply gap of skills in Saudi Arabia presents both challenges and opportunities. With a mindset change at the grassroots level and by investing in training and development, this gap can be bridged effectively. Leveraging technological solutions like our Employer Portal and Job Search App can further narrow down the divide. Together, we can drive the Kingdom’s Vision of 2030, of a diversified and prosperous economy.



Author: Shilpi Choudhury

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