JEDDAH — Minister of Human Resources and Social Development and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Human Resources Development Fund (HADAF) Eng. Ahmed Al-Rajhi and Minister of Education Yousef Al-Benyan jointly inaugurated on Sunday the vocational guidance and counseling initiative in Saudi schools. The ceremony was held in the presence of a number of partners representing various sectors.
The initiative, which is supervised HADAF in partnership and integration with education departments in various regions and governorates across the Kingdom, is aimed at aligning educational outcomes with labor market requirements and enable male and female students to learn about current and future skills and requirements that are vital for the employment market.
HADAF’s Director General Turki Aljawini said that the Fund, along with its partners, aspires to strengthen the concept of vocational guidance and activate it in public and private schools, through a group of qualified vocational counselors to align educational outcomes with the requirements of the labor market, as well as to enable male and female students to learn about current and future skills and requirements for the labor market. “The vocational guidance and counseling is a major requirement in the labor market, and this initiative comes after the launch of the ‘Vocational Guidance in Universities’ initiative in cooperation with 67 universities, colleges and institutes across the Kingdom in August last year,” he said.
Aljawini said vocational guidance services were rendered to more than 72,000 male and female students at the university level. Referring to the positive outcome of the vocational guidance and counseling program in integration with all partners, he said that the number of beneficiaries of the program during the past eight months reached more than one million male and female beneficiaries with the rate of satisfaction exceeding 91 percent.
According to the statistics of the first half of the current year, the number of visitors to the Subul platform reached about 600,000 visitors, while the number of beneficiaries of remote professional guidance sessions reached about 17,000 male and female beneficiaries, and 103 male and female professional guides were qualified. Moreover, around 2,000 specialized and professional workshops were conducted with the overall objective of overcoming challenges in the required specializations.
For his part, Dr. Hassan Kharmi, deputy minister of education for general education, praised the strategic partnership between the ministry of education, HADAF and various sectors in this initiative, noting that vocational guidance is a comprehensive development program designed to help students to take decision with regard to most appropriate educational and professional choices and carry them out so as to help them shape their future and determine their professional destination before choosing their appropriate academic path.
“The vocational guidance and counseling program prepared by the ministry works to develop the student’s competencies in knowing themselves and their potentials, educational and vocational exploration, as well as career planning for the future in accordance with what was included in the Saudi Vision programs through the human capabilities development and Quality of Life programs,” he said while noting that vocational guidance and counseling programs for students help in obtaining the knowledge and skills, as well as the necessary experiences in order to identify options, explore alternatives, and succeed in society. “These programs better prepare students for the future workplace,” he added.