Company collaborates to boost women’s training for the workforce
Aramco, Leading National Academy conducts female skills training awareness session to lift Saudization, iktva numbers.
More than 50 top Aramco suppliers took part in a two-day virtual workshop designed to encourage potential female employees to attend skills training at the al-Khobar-based Leading National Academy (LNA).
The workshop, conducted in collaboration with the Local Workforce Development Department (LWDD) and the Contracting Department, brought together 56 suppliers, owners, and contractor senior management to publicize LNA’s specialized technical and vocational diplomas, and short training programs offered to Saudi females.
The programs are designed to qualify Saudi women with technical competencies so that they can join the workforce and contribute to Aramco suppliers’ Saudization and IKTVA commitments, as well as Saudi Vision 2030’s efforts to empower women by giving them equal employment opportunities.
LNA is a not-for-profit training institution established by Aramco, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development, the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation, and the government’s Human Resource Development Fund (HRDF).
Dina M. Al-Ghassab, from the Saudi Contractor Employability Unit in LWDD, acted as workshop host. Ammar I. Al Mubarak, administrator of the Contracting Services Division in the Contracting Department, presented opening remarks, stressing the importance of increased female participation in the workforce and the role of contractor companies in achieving this objective.
The workshop program consisted of topics promoting and encouraging the training and hiring of women, including:
• Diversity and inclusion in the workplace
• HRDF training and employment support
• Updates to Saudization requirements
• An overview of LNA programs.
Diversity and inclusion
Meshael F. Al Jedidi, the head of the Communication and Culture Unit in HR’s Diversity and Inclusion Division, emphasized the importance that role diversity and inclusion plays in improving both the company’s performance and the Kingdom’s female employment rates.
Training and support
Abdullah Al-Bassam, a relationship manager at the HRDF, listed the fund’s various programs and subsidies offered to support women training and employment in the private sector. He also discussed the program’s mechanisms and differing eligibility requirements.
New Saudization obligations
An overview about new Saudization obligations and requirements mandated in Aramco contracts was presented by Asra A. Al-Suwaidani, from the Pipelines Distribution Contracting Unit of the Contracting Department, who elaborated on the importance of contractors utilizing national training centers — including LNA — to fulfill their training needs and Saudization requirements.
Finally, a showcase was presented by Fatima R. Alsughaiyer, a customer relations representative at LNA, to raise Aramco suppliers’ awareness of their unique programs to prepare female high school graduates with the training to perform at entry-level technical and vocational jobs. Alsughaiyer also outlined LNA’s sponsorship model, which is financially supported by the HRDF and recognized in official IKTVA and Saudization targets.
The workshop very well received, demonstrated by the audience participation in a final question and answer session. A post-event survey was sent to suppliers to gauge their training demands for sponsorship at LNA. This will be followed up with engagement meetings between LNA and suppliers requesting training.
By Nada S. Alghamdi and Mohammed S. Alshahri