Apr 18 2012
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Aramco to train 2m Saudi youth by 2020
RIYADH -- Saudi Aramco is launching a "Youth Enrichment" program that will see two million Saudis trained by 2020, said Khaled Al-Faleh, Saudi Aramco President and CEO.
During his speech at the International Exhibition of Higher Education here Tuesday, he said the training focuses on science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
In 2012, the program will provide 500,000 training hours, he said.
"We're proud that the illiteracy rate in the Kingdom has been on the decline. The literacy rate is currently 85 percent compared to 15 percent in the seventies."
The Kingdom has allocated billions of riyals to education and job creation, Al-Faleh added.
One of the biggest challenges in the Kingdom today is the fact that 80 percent of its citizens are below 40 years of age while over 35 percent are below 15, he noted.
"If these young men and women are not provided with good education opportunities, they are bound to be a burden on the economy," Al-Faleh continued.
"Providing education for youth is not enough, youth should be provided with job opportunities as well."
Aramco has therefore decided to identify and train talented youth, he said.
Meanwhile, in a speech at the same exhibition, which saw over 70,000 visitors on the first day including academics, media experts and students, Dr. Khaled Al-Anqari, Minister of Higher Education, said the Kingdom's higher education strategy is based on a 25-year plan.
"The Ministry of Higher Education decided to hold this exhibition to enrich the local academic and scientific environment and benefit from the expertise of prestigious international universities."
Over 450 Arab and international universities participated in the exhibition, and the minister called on students who are considering completing their postgraduate studies to take full advantage of the exhibition.
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