27 more technical colleges planned

27 more technical colleges planned
Updated 03 May 2014

27 more technical colleges planned

27 more technical colleges planned

Colleges of Excellence (CoE) signed here Tuesday an agreement with 12 global partners for setting up another 27 colleges which will be managed by various international applied technical and educational institutions from the US, Canada, the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Australia and New Zealand.
This marks the launch of the second wave of the country’s strategic plan to provide 100 colleges by 2020. The new colleges will be operational in September this year.
In September 2013, the CoE signed the first wave of 10 colleges that operated in major cities across the country, to bring the number to 37 colleges, making Saudi Arabia the hub of world-class advanced technical training in all fields and sectors under the world’s finest universities, professors and trainers for the benefit of its youth.
The historic accord, described as the first of its kind in Saudi Arabia, was inked by Ali Al-Ghafees, governor of the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC), in the presence of a number of participating countries’ ambassadors to the Kingdom, the Saudi Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) head, Ibrahim Al-Moaiqel, and the CoE’s Executive Director, Saleh Al-Amro.
“This is a tremendous success for the CoE team, TVTC and Saudi Arabia in general. What this country is doing in terms of investment in vocational applied education today is truly historic across the world,” said Dan Patterson, president of Niagara College of Canada, one of the signatories.
Patterson told Arab News on the sidelines of the event that the initiative is not just about Saudi Arabia and providing opportunities for men and women, but also about helping them to find employment.
“And that mixture of education and employment is part of the future,” he noted, adding that in Canada for example, “we have many student graduates from universities who have a difficult time finding a job, because they don’t have the technical skills.”
According to him, the Kingdom is trying to build a brand new system using the best class of trainers and practices across the world.
“The groups of colleges are partners here today and are true leaders in their fields,” he said.
“With the dramatic transition to a Global Village coupled with the internationalization of the business sectors, Saudi Arabia is prompted to boost its competitiveness through building manpower equipped with skills required for various professions,” said Al-Ghafees in his speech.
He said that it was remarkable that Saudi Arabia not only had challenges and opportunities simultaneously but also that 50 percent of the population is below 24 years of age. “Those youngsters represent the future of development in the Kingdom,” he said.
It is therefore obligatory to provide this potential age group with appropriate qualifications which makes them eligible for entry into the job market. “This would also upgrade our competitiveness level globally,” he added.
The governor noted in his speech that there are new agreements with 12 global partners providing vocational courses and hands-on training under which, the new waves will provide training in various fields required by the Saudi labor market.
The new colleges will open opportunities by providing the best world practices that would reinforce the domestic firms and various sectors where job opportunities are available.
According to Al-Ghafees, there will be 800,000 jobs available in the coming five years waiting for those graduates who will receive certificates of excellence recognized both locally and internationally. They will not only be trained in the technical field but also in terms of work ethics, behavior and hospitality.