Saudi Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Musaid Al-Sinani, addressing the 23rd session of the Arab Labor Conference in Cairo, highlighted the great attention being given by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to young people, saying that the six development plans have given every possible attention to the fostering of human resources as a result of the belief that these constitute the country’s major foundation for growth and progress.
Minister Al-Sinani referred to the Kingdom’s concern to implant Islamic values in the hearts of all young people, and added that the basic system of government “has confirmed the importance of enabling the youth to acquire skills and knowledge so as to make them useful members of society”.
He also noted that the Sixth Development Plan underscores the importance of replacing non-Saudi personnel with qualified national cadres, pointing out that in the current school year 1995-96 there are 22,000 schools with a total student enrollment of 3.7 million, a figure which is expected to rise to 4.4 million by the year 2000. In addition, the number of university students, now more than 171,000, will by the end of the decade reach 247,000; and a special organization has been set up to undertake the responsibility of training young people in the fields of technical education and vocational training.
Praising the contribution to youth training made by the private sector and in particular the Chambers of Commerce and Industry in addition to certain banks and companies, he noted that all educational and training course in the Kingdom are free. In addition, Saudi Arabia benefits from the experience of advanced countries in the field of technical education and vocational training as well as from transfer of technology through cooperation agreements. Minister Al-Sinani also noted that there are a number of rehabilitation centers for the handicapped to enable them to acquire knowledge and training.