Edexcel, a leading provider of internationally recognized academic and professional qualifications, said the Saudisation quotas in private companies are growing at an impressive rate, mainly driven by vocational training of Saudi nationals.
The revelation came during the signing of an agreement in which Edexcel has approved Al Khaleej Training and Education to offer the BTEC Higher National Diploma that allows holders to transfer credits to university degrees in various universities around the world.
Mark Andrews, Edexcel’s Mena regional director, said: “This agreement works at creating job opportunities for the new generation in the Kingdom. It will go a long way toward enhancing Saudisation of jobs in the Saudi market.” “The Saudi government is playing its role in integrating nationals into the private sector, but more needs to be done by companies to encourage nationals to seek employment in private companies,” he stated.
Andrews pointed out that the vocational education had a fundamental role to play in integrating Saudi nationals in the private sector. “The key is to provide the right education to nurture their skills, and make efforts to strike a balance between their salary expectations and private companies' priority on optimum productivity,” he observed.
The new initiative by Edexcel and Al Khaleej aims at bridging the gap between the knowledge obtained through formal education and actual skills required in the Kingdom's job market. Local Saudi employees have traditionally given preference to the public sector. They also display strong preferences for certain jobs and avoid some others, thus creating an imbalance in their availability for certain job segments.
Further, talented nationals are in high demand and difficult to retain, creating a retention challenge. Al Waleed Al Draiaan, CEO of Al Khaleej Training and Education said this strategic agreement between Edexcel and Al Khaleej aims at filling the vacancies in emerging specializations that are mostly catered to through vocational training, notably BTEC programmes.
“There is a huge disconnect between what universities and institutes offer and the real needs of the market. This vacuum is often filled by expatriates and it brings to the fore the need for integrating KSA nationals into a multinational workforce,” Al Draiaan noted.
Al Draiaan stressed that Saudi needs to have self sufficiency in vocational skills through enhanced vocational trainings. “There is an urgent need to sharpen the skills of the KSA workforce by exposing them to global best practices and equipping them with tools essential to the job market in Kingdom,” he added.
Derar Ali Shhabat, General Manager, Total Quality, Al Khaleej Training & Education, said his company was following world class standards, which is critical for competing with leaders from the education and training sectors. "Edexcel is adopting the theoretical methods to the requirements of the local business market rather than merely importing the information as it is," he noted.
Edexcel is the UK’s largest qualifications provider specialising in curriculum development, quality assurance and certification of learner achievement. As part of Pearson, the world’s leading provider of educational solutions, Edexcel possesses unrivalled access to content, e-learning and testing – all of which position it at the cutting edge of effective education for employment.