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TRSDC Vocational Training Program - Contributing to Saudi Arabia’s Thriving Economy

By Fadi Alaseri, Associate Education Director at The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC)



The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is seeking to diversify its economy, with tourism identified as a key sector of Vision 2030’s National Transformation Plan. The Kingdom is investing in infrastructure and superstructures while ensuring the sustainability of its vital resources. The plan aims  to attract foreign investment in tourism and hospitality by improving the regulation of the labor market, expanding digital transformation and technical solutions. The Human Capability Development Program is another crucial program of the Vision 2030, that was created to develop citizens' capabilities, prepare them for the future, and support them to seize opportunities. This can be achieved by ensuring that citizens have the required capabilities to compete locally and globally through instilling values and developing basic and future skills, as well as enhancing knowledge. The program calls for educational opportunities to upskill Saudi talent, empowering them to succeed across a range of diverse employment opportunities, and ensuring alignment of educational outputs with labor market needs in turn contributing to the Kingdom’s economic progress.

TRSDC’s Vocational Training programs support this ambition, encompassing initiatives that foster multiple skills development strategies across high, intermediate, and low tiers. The successful implementation of such skills formation strategies, alongside other well-coordinated economic factors, will undoubtedly raise the Kingdom’s overall national skills level and offerings. Saudi Arabia has a defined development track for facilitating a prosperous, sustainable, and thriving economy. Technical and vocational education are prime factors in distilling the right skillsets that fit the country’s social foundation, history, and culture, while matching the unique needs of the local labor market.

While the Kingdom has ambitious tourism development plans, its ability to achieve these aims may be hindered by human capacity constraints. Traditionally, Saudi Arabia has had to rely on foreign labor to serve in the hospitality sector. This issue was recognized as early as 1999 in the Phase 1 General Tourism Strategy (SCTA 1999), where labor shortages, training gaps and the need for superior education and training programs were recognized. The 6th Development Plan specifically called for the development of human resources by increasing capacity at universities, educational institutions, vocational training, and technical colleges.

Ensuring the alignment between educational outcomes and the local labor market is essential to achieving one of the key objectives of Vision 2030: inspiring a drastic increase in educational and training efforts to ensure that the outcomes of education systems are aligned with market and economy needs. This can only be achieved by identifying and reviewing market needs in terms of required numbers of graduates and fields of studies, and concurrently creating vocational training opportunities in emerging industries such as renewable energy, hospitality, and tourism.

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TRSDC, in collaboration with the Saudi Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF), offers a Vocational Training Program to prepare young Saudis in five different tracks to kickstart a promising career at The Red Sea Project. The program is designed to give students a solid foundation in the fields of hospitality, airport services, mechanical and electrical technologies, and renewable energy services. It provides a curriculum that combines theoretical knowledge and practical experience. Students who successfully complete the program will obtain a diploma degree and be employed by the project or one of its partners.

As John Pagano, our Group CEO said, “Our people are at the heart of all we do here, and we are extremely proud that so far we have built a workforce that is made up of over 50 percent local talent. We are already seeing the success of previous initiatives, such as our Elite Graduate Program, and we can’t wait to welcome our new recruits and achieve success in their chosen fields.”  The program will open-up a wide range of job opportunities for those involved, such as guest relations, concierge services, restaurant chefs, renewable energy technicians and security operations mechanics.