(MENAFN - Arab News) Building on the proven success of its retail academy in riyadh alshaya international trading co.(alshaya) has announced the opening later this year of a new academy in jeddah together with plans for a third academy in dammam in 2015.
the expansion plans will enhance alshaya’s ability to introduce more young women to the skills required for a career in retail and are underpinned by the recent renewal of alshaya’s funding partnership with the human resources development fund (hrdf).
the academy expansion plan follows on from pledges to recruit train and develop national talent which were made by alshaya executive chairman mohammed alshaya at the jeddah economic forum this march.
each retail academy will provide much needed real-world skills and retail sector experience to young nationals across the kingdom actively supporting the government’s nationalization goals.
alshaya has already successfully graduated 400 people from its riyadh retail academy and through its continued partnership with hrdf the company has committed to train 8000 young people over five years.
successful graduates have the guarantee of a job within the company’s portfolio of leading international retail brands.
alshaya which is one of the world’s leading retail franchise operators already operates over 600 stores in ksa and has ambitious growth and job creation plans across the country.
today around 2500 of its 5800 employees are already saudi nationals – more than 40 percent — which has seen the company earn nitaqat platinum status from the government for its commitment to nationalization.
the retail academies will play a key role in building on this number and also support the government’s goals of driving female employment.
entry onto the 13-week program at the academies is now exclusively for women.
from a zero base in 2012 alshaya has made great progress in creating roles for women and now employs more than 1600 women across its business in saudi arabia.
“the government’s support for alshaya’s retail academy initiative demonstrates how we are successfully working in partnership with the business community to drive job creation for our young people” said mohammed moselli deputy director general of hrdf.
“this partnership approach which is being delivered through the hrdf makes an important contribution to our economic growth and diversification plans and we are working hard to create new initiatives which build skills and opportunities. we are very pleased with the commitment that alshaya has made to the nationalization joint efforts and encourage others in the private sector to explore similar programs.”
mohammed alshaya executive chairman of alshaya commented: “the alshaya retail academy is a great example of how government and the private sector can successfully work together.”
he said: “the support of the ministry of labor and the hrdf has been key to the development of the academy. in turn the partnership supports our long term growth plans which will create many more job opportunities and careers for young saudi people.”
he added: “in some areas of the kingdom our nationalization rates are as high as 80 percent meaning four out of five of our employees are nationals. i see no reason why we should not raise these figures still further.”