Saudi Arabia signs $1bn US, UK training deal

Scheme will provide vocational training for up to 450,000 Saudis by 2020 - report

Authorities in Saudi Arabia have signed a SR4bn ($1.1bn) deal with colleges in the US, UK, Canada and Spain to provide technical training to nationals in the Gulf kingdom, it was reported.

English language Arab News said that contracts were agreed between Saudi Arabia’s Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC) and education providers to setup Colleges of Excellence in eight cities.

The colleges – in Riyadh, Jeddah, Makkah, among other cities – will supply training in fields including business administration, IT, automotive, aerospace and chemical engineering.

The system will initially accommodate up to 110,000 students when it begins in September this year, with this figure rising to 450,000 by 2020, Arab News reported.

Partners in the project include Nescot and TQ colleges in the UK, Mondragon in Spain and Laureate in the US.

“The Colleges of Excellence will help create a stronger, more skilled Saudi Arabia not only through a highly skilled national workforce, but also by catalysing the development of new national industries in the automotive, aerospace and chemical sectors, among others,” said TVTC governor Dr Ali bin Nasser Al-Ghafis.

“Education has a tremendous impact on both nations and the lives of individuals. Behind every great nation is a great system of education. In collaboration with our international partners, Colleges of Excellence will raise the bar in setting new standards for technical training in Saudi Arabia,” added Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Labour Adel Fakeih.

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