77,000 Saudi youth aspire for skilled jobs

In this file photo, a total of 116 young Saudi students graduated from the Technical Trainers College (TTC) in Riyadh.

In this file photo, a total of 116 young Saudi students graduated from the Technical Trainers College (TTC) in Riyadh.

With only three days left for submitting applications, around 77,000 Saudi men and women have enrolled for vocational training at the Colleges of Excellence (CoE) throughout the Kingdom, the Labor Ministry announced Wednesday.

The CoE is a state education program that trains graduates for the labor market.

Enrollment to the colleges began last month.

“This year, we have introduced new courses for aircraft maintenance and quality control,” said an official from the ministry.

The CoE also provides specialist training at the Mondragon Colleges for boys, which offer courses in business administration, information technology, engineering, agriculture and food production.

Lauriat Makkah and Al-Kharj Colleges for girls, meanwhile, provide business administration, financial services, fashion, sales, communication, tourism, hospitality and entertainment courses.

Other colleges with similar courses include institutions in Riyadh and Buraidah and the Lauriat Colleges for boys in Jeddah.

There are 37 CoEs, including 18 for girls and 19 for boys.

In addition to local tutorial staff, teachers and trainers are also brought into colleges from countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Holland, Spain and Germany, the official said.

Diplomas and certificates are granted in accordance with regulations issued by the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC), headquartered in the Saudi capital.

Selected trainees are given an allowance of SR1,000 per month.

Labor Minister Adel Fakeih recently announced that his ministry is working on an “important project”, which seeks to curb unemployment rates among Saudis.

The rate of unemployment in the Kingdom was pegged at 11.5 percent at the end of the fourth quarter of 2013, according to data released by the ministry.

Fakeih explained that the project aims to empower Saudi youth to possess vocational skills at an early age.

He added that the ministry would establish specialized departments that provide support to students within school premises.

The ministry would also help students find jobs by coordinating with the private sector in order to allow youth to develop their skills and acquire a strong work ethic.

In a major move to reduce reliance on foreign workers, the government last year rolled out a skills and training action plan that promised to meet the shortfall of skilled workers in the local market.

 
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