Tourism sector to employ 1.7m Saudi youth by 2020

Small and medium businesses in the sector provide jobs to 50 percent of the overall people in the sector

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Up until now the tourism sector has provided 1,329,000 jobs to Saudi youth and it aims at employing 1,700,000 by 2020.

Princess Noura Al-Saud from the National Center for Human Resources in the Tourism Sector (Taqamul) highlighted the role that the tourism sector can play in providing job opportunities for youth of both genders as well as the various business opportunities it can offer.

She noted that researches in the Kingdom have found that the sector lacks manpower, facilities and training. She also noted that the small and medium businesses operating in the sector are employing 50 percent of the overall people in the sector.

The princess was speaking at the Women Empowerment and Integration Forum here on Monday evening.

Globally, she noted, women constitute 46 percent of the manpower working in tourism, and they are developing the sector to meet the demand and overcome the obstacles in the sector. She mentioned that they have provided 110,000 training workshops for 700 individuals.

Haytham Banawi, head of the employment at the Human Resource Development Fund, said women in the kingdom tend to restrict themselves to only work places that are private. “We work on improving the work environment but women must have vision to work in different sectors and under different conditions,” said Banawi.

“My goal is to become a minister!” said Nadia Ba’ashin, dean of Jeddah International College, a statement that prompted the audience, majority of which were women who endorsed her dream by clapping.

Ba’ashin was speaking about how women can set their priorities and decide on their goals. She added that she would write down her goals and prioritize them and achieve what is achievable.

Ba’ashin was talking to female university students and encouraged them not to put marriage as an ultimate goal but proceed with their lives and advance in their education and career instead of waiting for a man. “In my age marriage was the one and only goal of a woman. This should change in your generation! Invest in your own selves, get training and advance your career,” she said.

She also encouraged women to take care of their health, spirits and families to achieve a balance between personal and work life.

This story was first published in Saudi Gazette on December 14, 2016.

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