SBM helps educate Saudi youngsters

Saudi Business Machines has teamed up with Saudi’s Human Resources Development Fund to establish an IT education programme for youngsters.

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By  Matthew Southwell Published  January 6, 2004

Saudi Business Machines (SBM) has signed an agreement with Saudi Arabia’s Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) to establish a programme that will help the Kingdom’s youngsters boost their technical skills and find jobs within the technology industry. The training scheme is based on IBM’s Workforce Development Initiative (WDI) and will be carried out by the National System for Joint Training (NSJT), a coordination body comprising the HRDF, the General Organisation for Technical Education & Vocational Training (GOTEVOT) and the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce. The WDI programme will provide young Saudi’s with training in areas such as web and e-business development, graphics & multimedia development and Linux/open source systems administration. The training tracks also include soft skills such as business communication, presentation, project management and English language skills. “We are very happy to be participating in this training program by putting SBM/IBM expertise at the service of Saudi trainees,” says Hasan Barraj, general manager of SBM. “The program will kick off with up to 240 trainees and we confidently expect the number will grow significantly in the coming years,” he adds. According to Dr. Faisal Al Khamis, general manager of the NSJT, the recruitment of IBM for the training scheme will give it both the standards and international clout it requires to succeed. Furthermore, he believes the programme will help the Kingdom’s companies hit their nationalisation targets. “There is a very real need for investment to build next generation skilled workforce that would be able to contribute to the Saudi economy and help make the country even more competitive in the global market. As such, IBM is delighted to be working with HRDF to drive opportunities for young Saudis in today’s workforce," adds Samer Shaar, general manager, IBM Middle East, Egypt & Pakistan. Trainees registering for the programme are required to have signed employment contracts before they commence the courses. Incentives will be offered to employer sponsors and the NSJT, through the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce, is currently helping locate appropriate companies to sponsor trainees.

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