Shoura members seek restructuring of HRDF

Updated 02 October 2012

Shoura members seek restructuring of HRDF

Some Shoura Council members are demanding an overhaul of the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) to cope with the increasing demands of the job market.
Members made the demand while discussing a report of the council’s Human Resources and Administration Committee during a sitting in Riyadh on Sunday.
The council also described the annual report of the HRDF for the year 2009 as vague.
“HRDF has not dealt with the issue of distributing training and employment opportunities in all provinces alike as it focused only on some particular provinces,” the report of the council’s committee that studied the HRDF report said.
The committee also observed that women got only an insignificant share of the opportunities for training and employment offered by the HRDF even though the rate of unemployment among women is high.
The committee stressed the need to pay more attention to small and medium enterprises (SME) because of their potential to solve the unemployment issue in the country.
The council also made a majority decision that the Ministry of Social Affairs should prepare a bill to regulate the business activities of productive families. The bill should enable the productive families to generate more job opportunities besides helping them market their products without hurdles. It asked the Social Affairs ministry to open special schools for mentally disabled in coordination with the Ministry of Education.
The council asked the Saudi Monetary Agency to instruct Saudi banks to arrange special teller machines for disabled people to draw their pensions and other grants distributed by the General Organization for Social Insurance.
Meanwhile, Director General of HRDF Ibrahim Al-Muaeqel said a new women’s employment program in collaboration with private companies would be launched shortly.
The program aims at finding employment at home for female graduates of universities and technical institutes. Women can stay home and their work will be sent to them online.
“The program will be experimentally implemented in a few cities at first and extended to other places after rectifying any flaws,” Al-Muaeqel said.
Under the project, the HRDF will support training programs for women graduates and subsidize their monthly salaries when they get jobs. The jobs that are found suitable for women to work without going to office include translation, web designing, customer service and e-marketing.
Private companies are likely to be attracted to this kind of work arrangement as they need not create any special women-only sections for such workers.
The program will also be helpful to people with special needs.


‘Dare to dream,’ football hero Thierry Henry tells Saudi fans

Footballing great Thierry Henry thrills fans as he signs 10 footballs on stage and tosses them to the audience. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 57 sec ago

‘Dare to dream,’ football hero Thierry Henry tells Saudi fans

  • Fans got up close and personal with the former champion during a segment called the lightning round, where Henry had to answer questions in 10 seconds

DHAHRAN: Stepping onto the Tanween stage in front of a sold-out venue full of cheering fans, footballing great Thierry Henry was quick to say how “hyped” he was to meet his Saudi supporters.
As a guest and speaker at Tanween Season, the former Arsenal striker and French international faced a busy schedule on Saturday after arriving at King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) in Dhahran.
First, he had a “meet and greet” with fans, many wearing Arsenal shirts, which was quickly followed by a discussion of the theme for this year’s event, “Play.”
After two young footballers from Riyadh performed a series of tricks that included balancing a football on one leg, then kicking it in the air to land on their backs, Henry said: “I would have broken my back trying to do that. It’s not easy.”
On his second visit to Saudi Arabia — the first was to Riyadh last year — Henry said that he was impressed by this year’s Tanween theme since he had seen firsthand the results of a children’s quality-of-life program at Tanween.
“What I liked most was to see the smiles on the faces of those children when I was walking around the impressive building. Being able to dream is key for me, but seeing how the youngsters were interacting, and how happy they were with their families walking around, was just priceless,” he said.
Growing up, Henry’s father played an important role in his development. The footballer did not miss a beat when answering that his father was his idol. “My dad was the hardest man to please; to put a smile on his face was the hardest thing to do,” he said.
Although the footballer grew up in a “not so great” Paris neighborhood, he considered it an enriching cultural experience. “It was great for me at the time because it allowed me to travel, although I wasn’t really traveling,” he said.
France’s colonial history meant he was exposed to different cultures early in his life.
“If I going upstairs to have couscous, to the second floor to have Senegalese food, or to eat with the Portuguese downstairs, it allowed me to travel, staying where I was,” he explained.
During his talk Henry showed that his Arabic extends to common niceties such as “shukran,” “afwan” and “alsalamau alaikum.”
Having an impact on the English Premier League and his role in Arsenal’s record-breaking era almost two decades ago are more important to him that being considered the world’s best striker, he said. As for his favorite stadium, Henry was quick to choose Highbury.
Offering advice to younger Saudis in the audience, Henry urged them to face their problems calmly and cleverly.
“Don’t run away. Face it and don’t be scared to fail. Come back again, but smarter,” he said.
Fans got up close and personal with the former champion during a segment called the lightning round, where Henry had to answer questions in 10 seconds. That revealed that he has always admired Muhammad Ali as the greatest, Messi is his current favorite football player and winning the World Cup was the most memorable moment in his career.
After the talk, Henry thrilled the crowd — a reminder of his playing days — by tossing 10 footballs to lucky fans who cheered as he left the stage.