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MCIT signs IBM to train 38,000 Saudis in technology

Agreement will help address need for technical skills as part of Vision 2030 goals

MCIT and IBM have signed an MoU to bring technology training to 38,000 Saudis by 2020.
MCIT and IBM have signed an MoU to bring technology training to 38,000 Saudis by 2020.

Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Communication and Information Technology has announced a collaboration with IBM to train up to 38,000 Saudis in ICT skills.

Under the agreement, IBM will train students from universities and vocational training institutes over the next four years, in technology areas including mobile computing, cybersecurity, business analytics, big data, cloud computing, and cognitive computing.

The agreement will help support Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 initiative and the National Transformation Program 2020, by creating a national pool of talent in technology.

Lack of skills has been identified in the NTP and Vision 2030 as a challenge for the Kingdom, and for this purpose, MCIT has developed three initiatives are geared to train, qualify and employ ICT professionals and experts.

Dr Mohammed Bin Ibrahim Al-Suwaiyel, Minister of Communications & Information Technology, stressed the importance of partnership between the private and public sectors that will contribute to the growth and development of the ICT sector. Dr. Al-Suwaiyel also noted that this agreement and other concluded agreements are within the programs developed under the National Transformation Program 2020.

IBM will work with around 30 educational institutions, including leading universities, to deliver training as part of its IBM Skills Academy program. The Skills Academy is a career-enablement program, which is suitable for students in the final two years of undergraduate education or at Masters level, and for students of vocational training institutes. The course focuses on essential areas of technology, and students who pass the exam will obtain an IBM Open Badge Certificate.

Under the Skills Academy program, IBM will train and certify university faculty in various career tracks, and the education establishment will then train the students. Learners are supported with an IBM Educational Portal for learning material, course content, assessment quizzes, and certification tests, and software for labs and hands-on training are made available to students through an IBM educational cloud environment.

Takreem El Tohamy, general manager, IBM Middle East and Africa said that the collaboration with the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology will help equip Saudi Arabia's workforce with the latest technology skills around Cognitive, Cloud, Security, data analytics and mobility and added that IBM remains committed to help develop the skills of the Saudi youth, enhance job market readiness and contribute to the country's future.