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Fri 27 Feb 2015 09:43 AM

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Kuwait's Alshaya inks deal to expand Saudi retail academy

Academy to relocate to Princess Nora Bint Abdul Rahman University in Riyadh; aims to raise number of Saudi women working in retail sector

Kuwait's Alshaya inks deal to expand Saudi retail academy
Middle East shopping, Middle East retail, GCC retail

MH Alshaya Co, the Kuwait-based international retail franchise operator, and the Princess Nora Bint Abdul Rahman University in Riyadh have signed an agreement to try to increase the number of Saudi women in the retail sector.

The memorandum of understanding aims to build a strategic partnership and further develop Alshaya's Retail Academy, with the aim of ensuring that more Saudi women are trained in retail skills and employed in the sector.

The new partnership covers three main areas - training, recruitment, and investment - to enhance the skills of Saudi women and improve their career prospects.

The agreement will see Alshaya relocate its Retail Academy from its current location in Riyadh to the campus of Princess Nora Bint AbdulRahman University, a statement said.

The partnership will allow the Alshaya Retail Academy to expand the scope of its operations, both increasing the number of trainees it can accept and giving students of the University access to additional modules in practical retail skills, such as customer service, communication and sales.

The statement said the relocation will not affect the Academy's existing eligibility requirements, which require that prospective trainees simply have a high school certificate.

"It's a great opportunity for our female students to receive specialised retail training from Alshaya, which is a leading retail company," said Dr Al-Ameel.

"We are delighted that we will create better access to training and recruitment in the retail sector, right here from our campus in Riyadh. This is just the first step in our partnership, and we hope we will build on it the near future."

Alshaya will also operate a recruitment office on campus to help female students have better access to employment opportunities at Alshaya.

With over 600 stores and 40 international brands in Saudi Arabia, Alshaya said it can offer Saudi women a range of career opportunities in retail, which is one of the fastest-growing industries in the kingdom.

Alshaya said his company was committed to training Saudi women and developing their skills.

"Princess Nora Bint AbdulRahman University shares our vision of helping women contribute to the growth of the economy in Saudi Arabia. This partnership will help us support more Saudi women, to provide them with much-needed retail skills, and offer them access to careers that will fulfill their future ambitions."

The Alshaya Retail Academy was established in Riyadh in December 2012 in partnership with the Ministry of Labour's Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF).

From a zero base in 2012, Alshaya now employs more than 1,600 women across its business in the Gulf kingdom.

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