ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have signed two agreements related to the recruitment and skills verification programme of the Pakistani workforce being employed in the Kingdom.
The signing ceremony of the agreements took place during the visit of Minister of Education Shafqat Mahmood to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, said a statement issued on Monday.
The agreement was signed by Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training, Shafqat Mahmood from Pakistan side and Dr Ahmad Jabbar Al Yamni, from Saudia Arabia Takamol side at the Saudi Ministry of Human Resources & Social Development.
The agreement on workers’ recruitment will contribute toward further streamlining the process of export of workforce from Pakistan in diverse professions in the Kingdom while safeguarding their due rights and providing comprehensive legal protection to Pakistani workers employed in Saudi Arabia.
The agreement will also help in resolving contractual disputes and taking legal recourse against recruitment offices, companies or agencies for any violation. It is expected that millions of Pakistani skilled workers will get gainful employment opportunities with higher earning as a result of the efforts of the government of Pakistan.
The agreement on skills verification will enhance the export of skilled and certified Pakistani workforce to the Kingdom. Under this partnership, NAVTTC, National Vocational and Technical Training Commission Pakistan and Takamol, a subsidiary of the government of Saudi Arabia, are establishing the testing regime under the Skills Verification Programme, by exchanging the NOS (National Occupational Standards) and facilitating skill verification of candidates through competency-based assessment (Theory & Practical) at exam centres in Pakistan for candidates desirous of working in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
This will enable the Pakistani skill workforce to have authentic and internationally recognised joint certification by both Takamol Saudi Arabia and NAVTTC Pakistan, through the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) assessment.
The Ministry of Human Resource and Social Development of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has introduced Skill Verification Program (SVP) implemented from July 2021 in order to regulate its labour market. After the implementation of SVP in KSA, skill verification has become necessary for the Pakistani skilled workers, who intend to have employment in Saudi Arabia.
It is important to note that the largest number of Pakistani expatriate workforce is based in Saudi Arabia, which contributes substantially to Pakistan’s economy through foreign remittances. Most of the present Pakistani workforce in KSA fall in the category of un-skilled or semi-skilled labour, which means reduced remunerations and it also impacts remittances negatively.
Moreover, in the changing scenario of labour laws and dynamics of the labour market overseas, a large number of Pakistani skilled workforce require skills certification as presently they face non-recognition of their qualifications, skills and certification. This cooperation will help a large number of these workers, also leading to national productivity and development.