(Saudi Gazette, The Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Ibrahim Badawood
RECENTLY, a new phenomenon has appeared on social media websites. Jobless young men take out advertisements in which they promise to pay a large sum of money to anyone who helps them land a lucrative government job.
One such example is of a high school student who said he graduated in the 84th percentile, had a computer diploma and was looking for a job in the Saudi Food and Drug Authority, the Ministry of Health or the Ministry of Culture and Information. He said he was ready to pay money to anyone who would help him.
Another jobseeker said he was looking for a position at the Saudi Telecommunications Company, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or Saudi Aramco. He said he would pay SR20,000 to anyone who could help him get a job. Another said in his advertisement that he was ready to give SR10,000 to anyone who could get him a job that pays SR5,000 a month.
For the unemployed to post such advertisements and offer money is unheard of. They all wanted jobs in the government sector because salaries in the private sector are low, work hours are long and there is little job security in the long run. Why have these young men stooped to the level of offering bribes publicly to anyone who gets them a job in a government agency?
What about the jobs offered by the Ministry of Civil Service? What has happened to those? What about the jobs offered by the Human Resources Development Fund? What about the jobs posted in newspapers and magazines? There are hundreds of jobs but unfortunately, only few show interest in them. What about business owners who cannot stop complaining about the shortage of Saudi labor?
I don't understand why Saudi men prefer government jobs over private sector jobs even though the latter can offer jobs better than the ones offered by the government. Why do our youth not think about starting their own businesses? Why do they not take loans from the relevant funds to start businesses? Every day, we read about mega projects that will be implemented in the country. Our youth deserve a chance to work in these projects and companies should give preference to them over expatriate labor.
Our society, especially its young members, still does not understand the meaning of job opportunity. For them, this means a government position that pays SR7,000 a month in an agency that is very close to where they live and that does not require a signature for attendance, meaning they can come and leave whenever they want.
If our young men continue to hold such misguided views, they should realize that they will never find a good job offer. Unemployment rates will rise and the price jobless individuals will pay to anyone who gets them a government job will exceed SR50,000, if not more.
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