Academy Set Up To Train Low Income Saudi Women


Princess Hassa bint Khaled Al-Sudairi, a member of the board of directors of the Saudi Catering and Contracting Co. (SCCC), told Arab News that around 3,000 Saudi women, mostly of low-income groups, are presently in training.

“We are also planning to start a women’s division and academy in our company (SCCC) to train women in the field of catering and hotel services, since we lack such a section,” said Princess Hassa, who was named the “Best Businesswoman of the Year 2004” (Unique Female Services Center) by Arabian Business, a leading business magazine published by ITP Business Publications in Dubai.

Arabian Business said Princess Hassa was considered among the first Saudi businesswomen to establish a center that specializes in the training and rehabilitation of Saudi women in several areas including management, training and computer science.

Princess Hassa said that as part of their program to provide job opportunities to Saudi women, SCCC was recruiting female apprentices at their Najd camp, where they are given intensive training in how to use computers and other related fields. English language courses are also being taught to improve women’s communication skills.

“We are happy to note that the training program is run by qualified women instructors. We have also joined hands with other companies as part of our endeavor to develop a national work force,” Princess Hassa said.

She added that the Professional Services Center for Women Training has 13 study halls equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, including a full range of IT products and audiovisual paraphernalia. Each room can accommodate 15-20 trainees.

Regarding job opportunities for women, Princess Hassa said the percentage of the women’s work force is very small (five percent, according to published statistics), while they constitute almost 50 percent of the Saudi population.

There was a Council of Ministers resolution allocating certain jobs for women only, especially in showrooms dealing in women’s garments and underwear. “Whether it is due to some misunderstanding or lack of availability of suitable candidates, this resolution has not yet been implemented,” she observed.

Princess Hassa called for the constitution of a women’s committee to study and identify obstacles in the path of women’s progress.

In this context, she referred to the restrictions in the issuance of visas for the recruitment of women from abroad, especially for job categories where Saudi women are not available.

“We have, therefore, established a new company, Hanad Trading Company for catering, industrial and catering business activities as a subsidiary of SCCC. It will be staffed mainly by women,” said the princess.

She added SCCC was now extending its operations to Kuwait, Iraq and Qatar. With a work force of over 4,000 employees with different specialties, and with a 4,000 plus multinational work force, the company has implemented multi-billion riyal projects in almost all areas of the Kingdom.

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