Saudi reform drive confronts jobs challenge

A general view of the workshop in the Higher Institute for Plastics Fabrication in the Saudi capital RiyadhThe students at the Higher Institute for Plastics Fabrication (HIPF) learn to manufacture plastic bags, pipes, bottles and other products, skills they immediately put to work in what the government says is a unique model. Reducing the kingdom’s high unemployment rate is a foundation — and major challenge — of the government’s wide-ranging Vision 2030 reform plan unveiled in April. It aims not only to bring more Saudis into the workforce but also to give them vocational skills needed for a diversified private sector.

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