Tourism sector will provide 400,000 jobs in five years
The tourism sector will throw up employment opportunities to more than 400,000 people in the next five years and all-out efforts are being made to train Saudis for these jobs, an official of the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) has said.
The organization is conducting studies and assessment to determine the needs in the sector, and is working in coordination with the Ministry of Labor and the General Authority for Tourism and Antiquities to boost Saudization levels in the tourism field, Dr. Abdulkarim Al-Nujaidi, the fund’s deputy executive director, said. He was speaking at the titled “National Tourism Resources: Challenges and Prospects” in Riyadh Wednesday. Al-Nujaidi said the Fund will work together with the Ministry of Labor and the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) for 56 schemes to increase Saudization percentages in the sector.
Most of these projects have been launched and will continue as they are consistent with the Fund’s strategic focus and promote participation of the private sector, he said. “The demand in the next five years for jobs in the sector will reach 460,000. The main objective of the implementation strategy in the coming period is to provide employment to workers with the right skills and qualifications,” Al-Nujaidi added.
Dr. Mohammed Al-Majed, Chief Operating Officer at the Technical and Vocational Training Corp. (TVTC), said the tourism and hospitality sector suffers from a severe lack of qualified nationals. “Efforts are on to develop and deliver training programs that meet the demand of the labor market and are in line with international standards,” he said. To achieve this, a promising plan to reach 250,000 trainees in tourism and hospitality by 2018 is underway, he said. “The technical College of Tourism and Hospitality was launched to support the sector, with another three tourism colleges in Najran, Khamis Mushait, and Al-Ahsa, scheduled to be completed in four years.” “We are working on encouraging young nationals to join the hospitality and tourism sector in the Kingdom, as well as supporting professional development for all professions and career paths,” said Fawaz Moumjnah, head of human resources of Hilton in the Kingdom.