Siemens sign MoU with Colleges of Excellence
To advance vocational education and training in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
As the Kingdom continues to drive economic diversification, vocational education and training is becoming increasingly important to achieve the goals of the National Transformation Program 2020 and Vision 2030. These include ambitious targets such as increasing the number of students enrolled in technical and vocational training from 104,000 to 950,000, and increasing the percentage of high school graduates entering vocational training programs from 7% to 12.5% by 2020.
The Saudi government allocated nearly a quarter of its current budget to education and training to equip young Saudi nationals with skills that are required by the labor market. The Kingdom's youth are its "significant assets" and much is being done to develop local skills and create more employment opportunities. The government is therefore working even closer with the private sector to further develop capabilities in priority sectors.
H.E. Dr. Ahmad Fahad Al Fahaid, Governor of the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC), said "TVTC works with the private sector to deliver top quality technical and vocational training to the young citizens of Saudi Arabia. Our collaboration with Siemens is a good example since it explores how aspects of the German dual education system can be applied in Saudi Arabia to produce graduates that are ready to be absorbed by the labor market."
With vocational training capacity expanding in fields such as energy and transport, there are additional opportunities to not only develop existing skills sets, but also to jointly explore the skills requirements of potential new markets, such as renewable energy and manufacturing. The collaboration between Siemens and CoE therefore provides the leverage to act on current and new skills requirements in an increasingly diversified Saudi economy.
The German dual education system combines theoretical, practical and on-the-job phases in an interwoven approach that enhances the employability of graduates. Siemens has a proven track record in exporting and adapting this approach in at least twenty countries as a global leader in electrification, automation and digitalization.
Joe Kaeser, CEO and President of Siemens AG, explained "Siemens has provided best-in-class vocational education and training globally for more than a century and is currently training nearly 11,500 of its own and clients' employees. Vocational education and training is a unique lever to further develop local skills, drive Saudization and benefits all parties of this dual system in terms of employability, developing highly skilled workers and fostering youth employment".
Colleges of Excellence functions as the execution arm of the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation, a governmental organization chaired by the Minister of Education, with the mandate to regulate and administer technical and vocational training in Saudi Arabia. A Royal Decree, dated the 26th of February 1980, confirmed the establishment of TVTC to specifically address the Kingdom's labor market needs through appropriate human resource development interventions.
Siemens, CoE and TVTC enjoy a long-standing relationship through the Saudi Petroleum Services Polytechnic, a partner college in Dammam where Siemens has trained more than 170 students since 2012. Under the excellent guidance of TVTC, the joint initiative produced the first generation of gas turbine experts who built the first "Made in KSA" gas turbine earlier this year. The graduates are employed at the Siemens Dammam Energy Hub, Saudi Arabia's first and largest facility of its kind. In addition, Siemens is a Founding Stakeholder of the National Power Academy (NPA), a further joint initiative with TVTC and Saudi Aramco to train young Saudi nationals for the energy market. In 2015, Siemens signed an agreement to provide equipment, software, curricula and training expertise to the NPA with the view to sponsor, train and employ Saudi talents. Siemens is represented on the NPA's Board of Trustees and its Technical Advisory Committee.