(MENAFN - Arab News) Fifteen Saudi graduates were awarded certificates for completing the Nestle sales training program at a glittering function held at the Faisaliah Hotel in Riyadh.
Speaking at a press conference held to mark the occasion, Nestl Saudi Arabia's Country Manager Roger Meguerdichian said: "We are very proud of the first batch of Saudi trainees, who have completed one of the Nestle Center of Excellence programs."
In keeping in line with the Saudization program, the Nestl Center of Excellence is designed to attract, develop and retain young Saudi graduates.
The center aims to assist young Saudi graduates in bridging the gap between the academic curriculum and the expectations of a multinational company. After completing the program, the graduates will be prepared to enter the Saudi workforce, equipped with the skills necessary to take on a commercial career.
"The Training Academy program was designed to enhance the capabilities of the Saudi workforce and to diversify the economy by developing the skills of graduates, with the best of local and global knowledge," Meguerdichian said.
The Nestl Center of Excellence programs emphasized the company's commitment toward creating employment opportunities for Saudi graduates whether at Nestl or outside.
"Nestl's initiative will not only help graduates gain employment within Nestl, but it will also give them the tools and means to find work elsewhere within Saudi Arabia," he concluded.
"We strongly believe that for a company to be successful over the long term, it must create value for both the business and the society. Creating shared value is therefore Nestl's fundamental way of doing business," Yves Manghardt, chairman and CEO of Nestle Middle East said.
He added that the Nestl Center of Excellence is enriching the Saudi talent pool and at the same time developing young Saudis in both sales and expertise skills, so that they can be prime candidates for employment at Nestle.
The first training program started with 27 trainees selected from across the Kingdom, of which 15 completed the course. Notably, more than 50 percent of the trainees- eight of the 15 graduates- will be offered employment at Nestl, in newly created sales positions.
Describing the Saudi market as one of the most important in the region, Manghardt said that the company's total revenue reached SR 2.5 billion last year.
As for the Saudization program, he pointed out that the company maintains 37 percent Saudization, out of a total 230 employees. The company has eight outlets, including its presence in the three main cities of Jeddah, AlKohobar and Jeddah.
He also said that his company hopes to continue this program annually in the future too.
Nestle is the largest food and beverage company in the world. It was established more than 140 years ago and sells over a billion products every day to millions of consumer across the globe.
Nestl's presence in the Kingdom dates back to 1955 with various distribution / agency contracts signed in Saudi Arabia. With the development of the Saudi economy, Nestl decided to increase its stake in Saudi Arabia becoming the first leading multinational Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) to operate directly in the country.
In May 2011 it launched Nestl Saudi Arabia LLC with 75 percent stake for Nestl and 25 percent shared amongst its partner, Al Muhaidib, Olayan and Tamer.