(MENAFN - Arab News) As many as 2,453 Saudi craftsmen and women have benefited from 153 training programs conducted by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) during the last five years.
SCTA organized these programs as part of its national project for tourism human resources development called Takamul.
According to an SCTA report, 410 craftsmen and 506 craftswomen took advantage of 56 training programs between 2007 and 2009. There were nine programs on business incubators and four programs on heritage villages benefiting a total of 175 craftsmen and women.
SCTA organized 39 training programs in 2010 for 186 craftsmen and 325 craftswomen as well as six programs on small enterprises for 57 craftsmen.
In 2011, 33 programs for 263 craftsmen and 339 craftswomen were conducted under Takamul. There were two criteria when choosing trades for training - the popularity of the trade in each region and its economic feasibility.
SCTA conducted these training programs in cooperation with a number of partners; most important among them National Commercial Bank, which financed 35 programs. Other partners included Abdul Mohsen Al-Hokair Group, Carrefour S.A., and Al-Othaim Group.
SCTA's Takamul project aspires to achieve a Saudi tourism sector entirely managed and operated by qualified nationals who possess knowledge, skills, capabilities and attitudes necessary to fill vacant tourism positions that would be generated through sustainable tourism. Its mission is to augment the rate of Saudization for tourism jobs by motivating tourism education and training, embracing occupational competency and standards to upgrade performance in the tourism industry, remove obstacles and provide incentives to develop national human resources.
The Council of Ministers on Monday approved the national strategy to develop the handicraft industry and called for a national program for the purpose. It instructed the Finance Ministry to allocate funds in the budget to develop the industry.
There will be a committee under the chairmanship of Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of SCTA, to supervise the program.