450,000 Saudis to be trained

Updated 14 November 2013

450,000 Saudis to be trained

In a major move to cut down reliance on foreign workers, the government has rolled out a skills and training action plan that promises to meet the shortfall of skilled workers in the local market.
“About 450,000 Saudi boys and girls will be trained in different vocations over a period of five years under the new plan,” said Ali bin Nasser Al-Ghafis, governor of Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC), on Monday.
Al-Ghafis said the state-owned TVTC is working to set up 300 new vocational training facilities across the Kingdom. “All these vocational training centers — both for boys and girls — will be operational within three years,” Al-Ghafis told Arab News on the sidelines of a ceremony.
A contract to manage and operate a newly built Saudi Railway Polytechnic in Buraidah, the first of its kind in the region, was signed during the ceremony. According to the contract, the polytechnic will be managed and operated by the Riyadh-based Saudi Railway Company (SRC). The polytechnic will enroll about 100 Saudi students initially. But, the facility has the provision to increase the intake to 300 during the third year of its operation. This facility, promoted by stakeholders like TVTC, SAR, and Human Resource Development Fund (HRDF), will start functioning during the first quarter of next year.
Asked about the shortfall in the labor market, that has hampered the plans of the contractors, Al-Ghafis said the TVTC currently has 100,000 trainees enrolled in its training facilities. These cadets will be shortly taking up jobs in different sectors, he added. “The government has taken the training program on a priority basis to ensure the availability of a pool of skilled Saudi workers.”
He said the Kingdom will have a large number of trained Saudis working in sectors like automotive, plastics, oil services, construction, energy, water and electricity, mining, aircraft maintenance, foods, and the hotel industry.
“Our plan is to encourage students to look at the technical trades and occupations in the market where shortages are emerging,” said another TVTC official, adding that the shortage of skills and talent is by no means limited to basic trades and skills.
“But, over the next five years, the skills gaps for higher levels of training will be much narrower as more and more Saudi boys and girls graduate every year,” he added.
Commenting on the Saudi commercial entities, especially the contracting sector that is currently facing enormous challenges with projects worth SR3 trillion expected to be completed by 2020, he said the problems would soon be over.


Riyadh roads turn green as world’s largest urban greening project branches out

Based on experience, roads and streets without trees contain eight to 10 times the amount of dust compared with streets lined with trees on both sides. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 03 August 2020

Riyadh roads turn green as world’s largest urban greening project branches out

  • Capital gets a facelift as Vision 2030 program works to plant 7.5 million trees
  • Most of the tree species used in the project are from a well-developed local environment with low agricultural service and care

RIYADH: The Green Riyadh project, one of the world’s largest urban greening initiatives, is rapidly bearing fruit as it transforms main roads in the capital.

Major thoroughfares, including King Khalid, Makkah and King Salman roads, are getting a facelift as part of the Vision 2030 goal of improving quality of life in the city.
Dr. Fahad Al-Mana, a professor of Ornamental Plants, Gardens and Green Areas at King Saud University, told Arab News that native tree species being used for the project include Ziziphus spina-christi, Acacia gerrardii and Prosopis cineraria, commonly known as the ghaf tree.
According to Al-Mana, the trees can survive in harsh desert conditions and will grow without intensive agricultural care.
“Most of the tree species used in the planting of the Green Riyadh project are from a well-developed local environment with low agricultural service and care,” he said.
Environmental conditions in Riyadh were taken into account during the tree selection process. The species can grow to a large size in only three years.
“In some locations, they have moved large 3-year-old local trees that were taken care of in plant nurseries to new locations where they are growing successfully,” Al-Mana said.
Green Riyadh will increase the amount of greenery in the city and augment the green cover in the Saudi capital with the planting of 7.5 million trees around the city’s main features and facilities.
The project will reduce the average ambient temperature by 2 degrees Celsius and improve air quality, encouraging people to follow a healthier lifestyle by walking or cycling.

FASTFACTS

• The project will reduce the average ambient temperature by 2 degrees Celsius and improve air quality, encouraging people to follow a healthier lifestyle by walking or cycling.

• The project will maximize the use of recycled water in irrigation works by increasing usage from 90,000 cubic meters per day to more than 1 million cubic meters per day through the construction of a new recycled water network.

• Green space in the city will increase from 5 percent to 9 percent by 2030

“The aim of planting trees in the streets is to provide shade and moderate the temperature, especially in summer, which contributes to the purification of air and reduces environmental pollution by protecting the city from sand storms, winds and dust. In addition, it gives an aesthetic view and the element of nature enters the city and nearby structures,” said Al-Mana.
He added that trees, especially those planted in central street islands, must have long trunks and high branches to avoid hindering the movement of pedestrians and cars. The trunk must measure at least 3 to 4 meters and the size of the trees planted must be proportional to the width of the island.
Al-Mana said green space in the city will increase from 5 percent to 9 percent by 2030.
According to the Green Riyadh website, the project will maximize the use of recycled water in irrigation works by increasing usage from 90,000 cubic meters per
day to more than 1 million cubic meters per day through the construction of a new recycled water network.
Al-Mana said the Green Riyadh project will also reduce carbon dioxide and impurity levels in the city.
“Based on experience, roads and streets without trees contain eight to 10 times the amount of dust compared with streets lined with trees on both sides,” he said.