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Front Page In Focus

Preparing Young Saudis for the Jobs of Tomorrow: The Red Sea Global Approach

The Red Sea Global

A high school physics teacher once made a huge difference in my life. He saw my potential, and it was his faith in my abilities that fed my self-confidence and helped inspire me to become an engineer.

John Pagano, CEO, RSG

John Pagano, CEO, RSG

Today, I run one of Saudi Arabia’s original giga-projects, created to help drive the goals of the Saudi Vision 2030 plan. Red Sea Global is creating jobs and opportunities for thousands of young Saudis and helping to put the Kingdom on the global tourism map.

The route to success for young Saudis in 2024 will be a rockier path than it was for my generation, back when we started out. The current pace of change across all industries is phenomenal, with the impact of seemingly daily new technologies from AI to Block Chain impacting the way we do our jobs. Competition for good jobs is fierce, and young Saudis cannot wait for opportunities to come to them. They must put in the effort to learn marketable skills and seek their own way forward.

Sometimes, they need a helping hand. It could come in the form of their own mentor, or in any number of education initiatives.

Red Sea Global is doing its part to give talented young Saudis a boost. As a cornerstone of Saudi Vision 2030, we’re creating some of the world’s most spectacular tourist destinations, right here on the Saudi Red Sea coast. Together, our two flagship destinations alone will account for 120,000 new opportunities in one of Saudi Arabia’s newest and most promising industries.

But we aren’t simply building and operating hotels. We’re also developing human capital and cultivating Saudi talent. We are at the forefront of the Kingdom’s new ‘tourism generation,’ empowering young citizens to compete at a global level.

Hospitality scholarships and on-the-job training
I believe that Red Sea Global stands out as a leader in education. We’ve funded scholarships for 170 students studying International Hospitality Management at the University of Prince Mugrin.  This is a five-year degree program accredited by the world-famous École Hôtelière de Lausanne.

We also run a two-year Elite Graduate Program that provides on-the-job-training for some of the nation’s brightest university graduates. More than 250 Saudis have joined our company as Elites since we launched the program in early 2020.

Then there’s our Vocational Training Program. Our first class of vocational students – 430 of them – graduated last July. Almost 40% of them came from local communities on our western coast. That’s because we aim to benefit those communities, where opportunities for advancement have historically been scarce. It’s part of our mission as a responsible developer.

One of our biggest achievements is that we guarantee jobs for all our Vocational Training Program graduates. Every one of our students found jobs upon graduation at our destinations – either with Red Sea Global directly or with one of our many partners, including Marriott and daa International.

What’s more, Red Sea Global is offering entirely new areas of vocational training. Our two-year, diploma-level course in airport services is the first of its kind in the nation. We’re also the first in the country to provide vocational training in tourism security. We’ve already enrolled 400 tourism security students, who are on track to graduate next year.

Launching a vocational academy for the Kingdom
In total, more than 1,300 Talents are either studying in our education and vocational programs or have already graduated from them. These numbers will add up quickly; by 2030, we expect to have graduated 10,000 vocational students alone.

Vocational training is a crucial part of my company’s social and economic contribution to the Kingdom. It’s so important that we’re scaling it up in a way the country has never seen before: We recently announced the launch of The Red Sea National Academy (TRSNA), a vocational training academy for the entire nation. Located in the heart of our local communities at Al Wajh, TRSNA breaks the mold for what a giga-project can do to help educate young Saudis.

We are the first of our peers to take such a step. But we can’t do it alone, and we’re grateful that the Colleges of Excellence and the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation have partnered with us to ensure our academy’s success. The Saudi Human Resources Development Fund has also been a steady source of support.

Without backing from like-minded partners like these, our dream of improving the lives of so many young Saudis would remain just that – a dream. We hope other organizations will join us. Collectively, we can take decisive action so that tomorrow’s leaders will look back one day and thank us.

Let’s seize this moment and make a difference for Saudi youth. Their future is now.