Saudi hospitality firm looks to the future with youth program

Salman Gasim, third left, with Hammam Zare, center, after signing the agreement to launch the STTAR accelerator program during a launch ceremony at the Sofitel hotel in Jeddah on Sunday. (Supplied)
Updated 06 March 2019

Saudi hospitality firm looks to the future with youth program

  • SHC helped 70 young Saudis to earn degrees and diplomas in various hospitality fields in 2018, including culinary arts and event management

JEDDAH: Swiss Hospitality Co. (SHC) launched the “Saudi Tourism Training and Recruitment” (STTAR) accelerator program, aimed at boosting the careers of talented young people wishing to forge a path in the hospitality industry, in partnership with the Majid Society, a nonprofit, meritocratic organization focused on empowering disadvantaged people.
SHC, a Jeddah-based firm, was established in 2014 and built around Swiss hospitality standards, combined with Saudi cultural values.
“In Saudi Arabia, we have hospitality in our DNA, but unfortunately, we don’t have the standards,” Salman Gasim, SHC’s chief executive officer, told Arab News. “We are trying to learn from the best, which is Switzerland.”
STTAR is the first initiative of its kind in the Kingdom, and aims to define new standards across the industry, blending European customer service with Saudi culture.
It supports people who either want to join at entry level, are experienced but want to accelerate their career, and those already in leading positions who feel they can improve.
Hammam Zare, the general manager of the Majid Society, told Arab News: “Our society will serve as a bridge between the SHC and the wider community, through which we will provide young people with opportunities and training. Our goal is to empower individuals and reduce unemployment.”
Gasim said: “The first program is made for unemployed Saudis who are not in the field yet, who need the most support, guidance, and who lack industry experience.”
He added that the program was deliberately short, lasting only up to 10 days, and designed smartly to be efficient.
SHC has signed over 32 agreements with strategic partners in the Kingdom, from hotel chains, restaurants and cafes to cinemas, bakeries and chocolatiers.
SHC also helped 70 young Saudis to earn degrees and diplomas in various hospitality fields in 2018, including culinary arts and event management.
Students received their education in Switzerland and elsewhere, and the company aims to send 100 more this year.


Saudi-European Parliament officials hold human rights talks

Updated 49 min 59 sec ago

Saudi-European Parliament officials hold human rights talks

  • HRC president, Dr. Awwad bin Saleh Al-Awwad, told a European Parliament delegation that the country had made “a qualitative leap”

RIYADH: The head of the Saudi Human Rights Commission (HRC) has pledged the Kingdom’s continued commitment to international efforts to protect and promote human rights.

HRC president, Dr. Awwad bin Saleh Al-Awwad, told a European Parliament delegation that the country had made “a qualitative leap” in addressing human rights issues.

During talks at the commission’s headquarters with the chairperson of the committee of the Arabian Peninsula in the European Parliament, Hannah Neumann, and her accompanying delegation, he said: “The past three years have witnessed about 60 reforms dealing with human rights, 22 of them dedicated to empowering women.”

The meeting discussed ways to develop cooperation between the Kingdom and the European Parliament regarding human rights issues.

Under the leadership of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Kingdom was going through a period of rapid reform and modernization which placed human rights as a top priority, Al-Awwad added.

He noted that Saudi Arabia was fully committed to its international obligations on human rights and pointed out that the country’s Vision 2030 reform plan was aimed at ensuring the happiness, development and fulfilment of its citizens.

“Our country is open to the world and still looks forward to achieving more accomplishments under its leadership and seeks to achieve principles and values of human rights.

“The Kingdom looks forward to these values prevailing at the global level in a manner that promotes sustainable development efforts and the protection and promotion of human rights,” Al-Awwad said.