Saudi Aramco has announced a new initiative in its Saudization efforts involving partnerships with vocational colleges and private-sector institutes in the Kingdom, with the aim of coordinating what is taught there with the company’s needs so that graduates will be qualified for immediate hire. The first group of students in this initiative will begin a one-year apprenticeship program in November. Initially, the focus will be on four majors - electrical, electronics, telecommunications, and air conditioning and refrigeration – with more added after evaluation. Aramco's existing two-year apprenticeship program will continue to be available to eligible graduates of high schools and colleges.
In keeping with the Kingdom’s long-term economic goals, Saudi Aramco hopes, through this and other programs, to augment and energize private-sector as well as government efforts to develop Saudi human resources. The initiative began in September 2003 when Aramco’s Training and Career Development Section brought together experts from a variety of disciplines to conduct feasibility studies and identify institutions with which to establish partnerships. In June, a delegation of 24 college executives, headed by the governor of the General Organization for Technical Education and Vocational Training (GOTEVT), visited the Saudi Aramco Training Center in Ras Tanura.