Housemaids to be recruited from the Central Asian republics and other new markets would not solve the shortage of maids in the Kingdom in the immediate future, a labor market expert said.
“Saudi families are not familiar with the lifestyles of most of the people in the Central Asian republics even if majority of the people in those countries are Muslims,” said Fahd Al-Qahtani, director of a recruitment agency in Riyadh.
The five Central Asian republics are Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
The Ministry of Labor recently said it was taking steps to recruit housemaids from nine countries including Vietnam, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Nepal, Laos and India, in addition to the Central Asian republics.
It also had several meetings with officials in those countries to facilitate smooth recruitment operations.
The households in the Kingdom have been experiencing a severe shortage in domestic help since disagreements developed between housemaid supplying agencies in Indonesia and Philippines in recent years.
Al-Qahtani also called on the ministry to be firm in implementing the terms and conditions for the recruitment of housemaids from new markets. He said the new recruits should have good training besides possessing respect for Saudi social customs.
“Newly recruited housemaids should be free from superstitious beliefs,” Fahd Al-Qahtani, director of a recruitment agency in Riyadh said, alluding to a number of recent crimes attributed to some housemaids.
He added that the ministry should take steps to ensure that the maids were free form psychological disorders before their arrival in the Kingdom.
Naif Al-Otaiby, a labor recruitment agent, said even countries hit by very high unemployment levels were demanding unjustifiably high rates for their workers.
“Most of the labor export companies in those countries demand nearly 60 percent higher wages to supply domestic workers to the Kingdom than to other countries in the Gulf,” he said.
He added that the Kingdom as the largest labor market in the region, should dictate its terms instead of yielding to the demands of labor suppliers abroad.
Al-Otaiby also called on local recruitment agencies to coordinate with and support the ministry to make the cost of imports reasonable and not to be passive to the forces of demand and supply in the market.