In Saudi Arabia, we have a huge advantage in that 70% of our population is aged under 30. There’s a huge opportunity for private sector companies to hire young Saudis and train them according to market needs. Instead of focusing on the skills we’re lacking, we should try to be positive about the skills the upcoming generation has, and how this can impact on business.
Future generations are focused on developing and having a social mission. Our young people aren’t solely focused on how much they get paid. The first question I frequently get asked by fresh graduates is 'what am I going to learn?' It’s vital to think about young people in terms of development, as money can retain good people only for so long.
This is why THIQAH recruits for behaviours and potential, rather than experience and qualifications. We want people to be flexible and able to work in different roles. Our environment is dynamic, with projects coming and going. The business environment is different to the past, so we need entrepreneurial people with drive and ambition. This all starts with training and recruitment, and having a sound learning and development strategy. You must give young people the right training, coaching and support systems. This is supported at a national level, with governmental support in free training and mentoring for young generations, with universities also encouraged to provide free professional training for their students. This lack of partnership between education and business is a theme around the world, as many employers feel students lack the skill sets for the corporate environment.