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Saudi Arabia to provide training for 1 million nationals.

In a plan which targets young Saudi national men and women who failed to complete their secondary and undergraduate education, the KingdomAAEs government

looks to train one million workers to a level where they are able to obtain employment in both the public and private sector.

Government sources talking to English language daily the AaeSaudi GazetteAAE, revealed details of a training scheme focused on professional as well as technical

skills, which also forms part Saudi ArabiaAAEs industrial expansion beyond energy initiative. The plan is intended to prepare mature students for entry into all levels

of commerce, industry and agriculture, reducing the dependency on foreign workers and increasing the job opportunities for nationals.

The objective is to lower the number of Saudis dependent on the national unemployment assistance programme by up to 50 per cent and move them seamlessly

into full time employment. Previously, strict AaeSaudisationAAE quotas have been imposed on companies, which if not met, have an impact on the number of expatriates

that can be employed and also restrict bidding access to government tendered projects. However, firms have long complained that the academic standard and

commercial life appreciation of candidates interviewed for employment, not channeled through universities, has been woefully low.

Saudi Arabia is the largest Arab economy and has a significant population to match, predicted to break 30 million in 2017; the proportion of Saudi nationals aged

below 30 is extremely high. The Kingdom is keen to diversify away from the industrial dominance of oil & gas and is building a series of six new economic cities

around the country. These it hopes will attract light manufacturing, assembly and other businesses from overseas to establish operations in the Gulf state. Most

notably publicised among these cities is the King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC), springing up 100 kilometres north of the Red Sea port city of Jeddah under

development by a subsidiary of Dubai headquartered Emaar.

Containing an industrial zone, sea port, educational zone, seaside resort and a central business district, it is hoped that KAEC alone will eventually generate jobs

for one million Saudis. The jobs creation profile projections are: 145,00 employed in education and community services, 60,000 in hospitality, 330,000 in industrial

and light industries, business and office 200,000, 150,000 in research and development and a further 115,000 in the services sector.

Copyright Andy McTiernan. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Andy McTiernan Property & Economy Bulletin
Geographic Code:7SAUD
Date:Apr 13, 2012
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