Saudi Minister of Culture Prince Badr Bin Abdullah Bin Farhan hailed the Council of Ministers’ approval for over 80 professions in the cultural sector as a historic decision that will give activists in the cultural industry a corporate status in the government and private institutions as well as in the society.
This inclusion came in response to the request of the Ministry of Culture to the Ministry of Human Resources, based on unified efforts and joint work among government agencies. The list includes many cultural occupations that were not previously recognized, and these professions were added after studying the reality of the Saudi cultural industry, and based on the International Standard Classification of Occupations (ISCO-08), which is an International Labor Organization classification structure for organizing information on labor and jobs.
The minister said that more than 80 cultural occupations were approved in the first phase, which includes artistic and cultural occupations that have a presence in the cultural field such as theater producer, film director, lighting designer, a specialist in documents and manuscripts restoration, exhibitions designer, textile designer, curator and other basic cultural occupations in which Saudi innovators are actively involved.
The Ministry of Culture was keen that these professions include all the following cultural sectors: heritage, language, books and publishing, libraries, fashion, theater and performing arts, culinary arts, films, museums, visual arts, festivals and cultural events, architecture and design as well as occupations in educational development paths for the cultural sector and multimedia design.
The inclusion of cultural occupations in the Uniform Saudi Occupational Classification will help to give Saudi intellectuals, who have versatile creativity, official recognition of state agencies and private sector institutions, with the related increase in the artist’s competence in cultural production and self-employment. It is also a first step in the direction of professional licensing, in addition to a morale boost as it gives the artist a clear and recognized professional title in the society.
The ministry’s keenness and its endeavor to include cultural professions emanate from its belief in the value of Saudi creativity and the need to obtain the value that those with creativity and talent deserve in the professional and social realms. Furthermore, this is considered as an essential step to convert Saudi creativity from the level of a hobby to the level of true professionalism, which is a major requirement for the advancement of the Saudi cultural sector.
The ministry manages and seeks to develop Saudi culture and make it an influential, productive and effective industry socially, economically, and culturally, at a level that meets the goals of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. This is the first time in the history of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia that Saudi artists obtain an official profession, which will accelerate the pace of the cultural production and will increase the opportunities for workers in the cultural sector to devote themselves to their creative activities.