RIYADH — Qiddiya Investment Company (QIC) and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) held two virtual lectures, conducted by QIC’s executive directors, for students at the prestigious university for the very first time with the goal of helping students to bridge the gap between education and employment.
KAUST initiated the collaboration under its longstanding Saudi workforce development strategy, introducing the virtual lecture series as part of a comprehensive response to the COVID-19 disruption.
The series aims to empower the university’s graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to continue prioritizing career exploration and development, and raises awareness of the many industries, opportunities and professional paths in the Kingdom’s rapidly transforming economy.
The interactive lectures, as part of Qiddiya’s CSR Career Opportunities focus area, explored Qiddiya’s dual and economic social purpose: to advance economic diversification and unlock new professional pathways while enriching lives of youth in the Kingdom, in line with Vision 2030.
“Building on our scholarship and internship programs, we want to open up new industries and employment opportunities to graduates and that is why initiatives like this are so important as our ultimate goal is to empower the future leaders of this Kingdom,” commented Mike Reininger, CEO of Qiddiya.
“Qiddiya’s vision is to create a new city recognized on the world stage as the home of the most innovative and disruptive experiences in Entertainment, Sports and the Arts. To do this, we will employ 17,000 skilled staff by 2023 when we open, and our outreach starts first in the Kingdom.”
Najah Ashry, KAUST vice president and senior advisor on national strategy, said, “Saudi Arabia’s sectors are rising to meet new demands and opportunities of the 21st century. This takes strong workforces that are skilled for the future.
“KAUST’s talented alumni will be joining the global workforce in record numbers this year, and they are well-prepared and eager to contribute to Saudi Arabia’s growing knowledge economy.”
Ashry added that this newest collaboration is an example of KAUST’s ongoing commitment to developing the Kingdom’s industries and improving Saudi Arabia’s global reputation for talent.
“We work with the Kingdom’s most important organizations to support a national ecosystem that enables talent to thrive, attracts investment, and helps our partners to achieve their long-term innovation goals for 2030 and beyond.”
This year, Qiddiya has progressed from planning to execution phase with construction gathering pace on site.