Siemens is continuously building partnerships to advance education and training

Press Release ( - JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia - Oct 30, 2016 - The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is determined to build a thriving, and more importantly, a knowledge based economy. Vision 2030 is providing the momentum to propel the nation towards a new era of prosperity and the government is therefore working side-by-side with the private sector in fields such as education and training, infrastructure and healthcare.

The Kingdom’s youth are its “significant assets” and therefore much is being invested together with the private sector to develop skills and create employment opportunities. This includes increased employment opportunities for females. Women make up more than half of Saudi university graduates and are a largely untapped talent pool. In addition, more than half of the Saudi population is under the age of 25, a trend on which the Saudi government is capitalizing.

Early childhood development is especially relevant when one considers the extent to which Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) play a role in the career prospects of young people. To this end, Siemens partnered with Saudi Aramco to jointly distribute over 3,000 science kits across the Kingdom, thereby promoting science education among school children. The “Discovery Box” initiative targeted public schools with positive feedback from teachers, parents and learners. The “Discovery Boxes” contained materials for 22 experiments in the fields of energy, environmental science and healthcare.

Arja Talakar, CEO of Siemens Saudi Arabia says, “The National Transformation Program 2020 aims to increase the number of young Saudi citizens enrolled in vocational training programs from 104,000 to 950,000. This provides an outstanding opportunity for the private sector to strategically partner with the government. Siemens therefore works together with key stakeholders to train and create employment opportunities for Saudi citizens.”

Vision 2030 aims to realize a more competitive and skilled Saudi labor force. Vocational training capacity is already expanding and scholarships are planned in fields that address the Kingdom’s priorities. From a baseline of 7%, the government is targeting 12.5% of high school graduates to be in vocational training programs by 2020. A recent feasibility study confirmed a widening skills gap equivalent to 65,000 full-time skilled workers in the Kingdom’s energy sector over the next two decades. This prompted the establishment of a National Power Academy (NPA) to substantially address the skills requirements across the energy value chain. Siemens is a founding stakeholder of the NPA and is therefore working closely with Saudi Aramco, Saudi Electricity Company and the Saline Water Conversion Corporation to equip the NPA with state-of-the-art technologies, hardware and software applications, as well as tried and tested curricula. This will include training and the creation of employment opportunities in line with the company’s requirements.

The continuous expansion of Siemens’ local footprint in manufacturing, innovation, education and training includes the milestone of building the Siemens Dammam Energy Hub (SDEH), Saudi Arabia’s first gas turbine plant. The SDEH provides true knowledge transfer to young Saudi nationals and is positioned to build even more local capabilities in the energy market. Siemens previously trained and now employs the first generation of Saudi gas turbine experts at the SDEH. These local experts built the first “Made in KSA” gas turbine earlier this year and they will shape the future of the industry.

The collaboration between universities and the private sector provides excellent opportunities to inspire new ways of learning that maximize educational experiences and produce well-rounded, competent and articulate graduates. Siemens’ partnership with Effat University, the first to provide an engineering curriculum for women in the Kingdom, outlines talent sourcing, research, curriculum development and guest lecturing as key components of a mutually beneficial collaboration. Around 100 students participated in two “Siemens Day” events on campus, which included innovation workshops and lectures. The collaboration is bearing its first fruits since several interns have already been sourced with a developing talent pipeline in the months ahead. In addition, the company is working with Effat University to develop a new Energy Engineering academic curriculum.

Waleed Hefni, Head of Human Resources at Siemens Saudi Arabia, concludes: “Siemens thinks and acts in the interests of future generations because responsible conduct is the only way to balance long-term growth with the aspirations of Saudi Arabia. The development of our youth is especially important in achieving the goals of Vision 2030 and further strengthening the Kingdom’s position as a major global player.”

Together with its local shareholder and partner, E.A. Juffali & Bros, the company is leveraging its collective strength in support of Vision 2030 because ultimately, what is important to Saudi Arabia, matters to Siemens.

Source : Siemens

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CATEGORIES : High Technology
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