Saudia, SAP to combat youth unemployment
Riyadh, March 13, 2013
Saudia has signed an agreement with leading business software company SAP to set up a unique competency center at the King Abdullah Economic City for teaching essential business, IT and leadership skills to Saudi graduates.
The joint initiative will endeavour to prepare Saudi graduates for the job market through honing of these essential skills,said the kingdom's flag carrier in a statement.
Training will encompass everything from negotiation and communication to conflict management and “design thinking”. In addition, the initiative will offer SAP certifications on core business and industry solutions.
“Saudi Arabia needs to continue strengthening its ability to create sustainable high-tech jobs, and Saudia is determined to do everything it can to support this process,” remarked Khalid Abdullah Almolhem, the director general of Saudia.
“By training the best and brightest in vital business and IT skills, we are laying the groundwork for jobs that can not only benefit individuals but also entire industries and the economy. As a leader in business software, SAP is an extremely powerful ally to realise our ambitions in this area,” He added.
Today, Saudia comprises 13 individual companies all running on unified SAP platforms for maximum efficiency in key operational processes such as HR, finance, procurement, maintenance, fuel management, logistics, vendor management and CRM.
According to him, SAP intends to provide expert guidance to the center’s IT hardware and software set up, as well as draw on its considerable global track-record of running successful capacity building programmes.
This includes the recently-launched Marawed initiative, which helps promising graduates across the Mena region gain SAP certifications through both virtual and hands-on project experience.
KAEC has been identified as the ideal locale for the competency center due to its cutting-edge facilities, strategic position between East and West, and peerless ability to interact with the region’s largest economy.
It is predicted the city will be the size of Washington DC when finished in 2025. The $100 billion project will be particularly influential in boosting
the Kingdom’s tourism, logistics, energy, transportation and manufacturing sectors. Saudia has already committed to moving 1000 employees to its Smart Technology Hub in King Abdullah Economic City.
SAP and Saudia’s push to empower young graduates comes at a valuable time for the Kingdom. According to government statistics, more than two-thirds of Saudis are under 30, and nearly three-quarters of all unemployed Saudis are in their 20s.
The MoU will also entail SAP sharing aviation industry-specific best practice to help Saudia support its operations across the board.
In addition, the agreement will explore how both Saudia and the Kingdom can benefit from the potential creation of a Saudi Arabian arm of SAP’s Training and Development Institute.
“Youth holds the key for Saudi’s enduring success as a business hub and an innovator on the global stage,” said Sam Alkharrat, the managing director of SAP Mena.
“But to truly realise the immense potential of the Kingdom’s new graduates, the private sector needs to share both infrastructure and world-class insight. SAP is a global leader in capacity building and, together with Saudia, we can really make a difference in the job market," pointed out Alkharrat.
"From supporting the competency center to sharing aviation industry insight, this is a highly strategic union, and one that is intimately linked to the Kingdom’s most pressing business requirements," he added.
SAP has worked closely with Saudia since 2007 as a part of its transition from a government-owned entity to a series of privately owned companies.-TradeArabia News Service