New sector developments to look out for in KSA manufacturing and supply chain.Erik leads the Manufacturing and Supply Chain division at Cooper Fitch and works with clients across the GCC to attract and secure talent. In this blog, he will discuss new sector developments in KSA, in demand jobs and the outlook for the Saudi Arabian market.
New sector developments, in demand jobs and market outlook
Saudi’s 2030 vision has been designed to diversify the Saudi Arabian economy long term, attract foreign investment, develop industrial sectors and create a destination of choice for the tourism industry. Industrial sectors such as mining, manufacturing and electricity have seen increased activity over recent months and accelerated growth will be witnessed over the coming years with new developments across the pharmaceutical, aerospace and automotive sectors. Sector growth and diversification has resulted in a growing demand for international job seekers with specific skill sets as well as opening up thousands of career opportunities for Saudi national talent.
With the arrival of Lucid Motors to the country earlier in 2022, Saudi Arabia expects to grow the Electric Vechile market significantly which could create a large number of job opportunities. Without any automotive infrastructure in KSA, these Electric Vechile organisations will require specialist expatriate candidates to develop new manufacturing facilities, create supply chain strategies, as well as identify gaps in skillsets of local job seekers and develop staff in order to contribute to Saudisation initiatives rolled out by the government. Skilled expatriates that bring expertise in the design and construction of factories and those that specialise in manufacturing engineering will be in higher demand. It is expected that these types of organisations will partner with reputable Saudi universities and colleges to offer student courses that are industry specific and would prepare them for future technical and managerial roles.
These talent acquisition strategies are not just limited to the automotive industry but are also implemented across other heavy manufacturing organisations in KSA. Recently, startups in more specialised industries, such as pharmaceuticals, have rolled out strategies to employ Saudi national talent in specific roles such as production and quality management, whereas they tend to employ experienced international expatriates in niche areas such as research and development and product development.
A key sector for the economy and one that has been active for a relatively longer period in the country is the tourism and leisure sector. With many new start-ups setting up operations in the Kingdom, we see an increased demand for talent who have specifically created tourist destinations abroad and can bring their expertise to the industry and contribute to organisations such as NEOM, The Red Sea and ROSHN. Local talent is in higher demand across supply chain functions, including procurement, contract and vendor management, to ensure a robust strategy is implemented and adhered to.
Outlook for the year
The outlook for the KSA labour market looks promising over the next 6 to 12 months. With the increased rate of new development projects and startups that are setting up factories in the country we expect a further increase in jobs for Saudi talent and expatriates. Younger Saudi professionals will be encouraged to upskill and reskill where necessary to become more attractive professionals for newly developed sectors, as this will be key in achieving the 2030 vision.
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