JEDDAH: Saudi Ministry of Tourism has announced the launch of one of the largest training programs in the sector that will invest $100 million to groom 100,000 Saudi trainees worldwide.
Called Tourism Trailblazers, the program will offer courses across all career levels and involve the top 10 international schools, revealed Deputy Minister for the Tourism Human Capital at Ministry of Tourism Mohammed Bushnag.
“We selected the top 10 schools worldwide, and the program will start in the coming few weeks,” Bushnag told Arab News on the sidelines of the 116th Executive Council of the UN World Tourism Organization in Jeddah.
“We have collaborated with international schools such as Lausanne and BHMS in Lucerne. The first set of students will fly out of the Kingdom on July 4,” added Bushnag.
Countries include France, UK, Switzerland, Spain and Australia with international top hospitality schools like La Roches, Gilon and César Ritz.
The program will include courses from four to six weeks, targeting 50,000 trainees in the Kingdom, 25,000 abroad and 25,000 across both geographies.
Bushnaq said that the program curriculum targets the need gaps in the tourism sector and focuses on 12 sub-sectors defined by the UNWTO.
“For those who want to start working in tourism, we have programs for them. For those who are in their mid-careers, we have programs for them. We also have courses for the senior managers,” he explained.
Planning to create 1 million jobs in the tourism sector by 2030, Bushnag predicts that women will exceed half of the participants in the program.
“From my experience with programs like these, we have never had less than 50 percent females. Actually at one stage, females constituted around 54 percent,” said Bushnag.
He was also confident of the employment targets stated in the Vision 2030 statement.
“Currently, there are like 800,000 employees. And by 2030, we’re going to reach almost 1.6 million,” he said.
“The target is to have at least 70 percent Saudis by 2030, if not 100 percent. We are training and developing because building capabilities for Saudis will make our life easier and improve the private sector,” Bushnag added.