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GE Technical Academy launched in Jubail
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 25 - 09 - 2013

GE unveiled Tuesday a 50,000 sq m advanced training facility, the GE Technical Academy in Jubail, developed in cooperation with the Saudi Technical & Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC) and supported by the Human Resources Development Fund (Hadaf).

The event was held in the presence of Prince Saud Bin Nayef Bin Abdulaziz, Governor of the Eastern Province.
The new initiative demonstrates GE's firm commitment to the Saudi Arabian government's vision to create more jobs for its youth, especially in technology-related and energy sectors.

The GE Technical Academy was unveiled at a ceremony attended by TVTC Governor Dr. Ali bin Nasser Al-Ghafis and GE's Chairman & Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey R. Immelt, in the presence of high-ranking officials from TVTC, GE and the Human Resources Development Fund (Hadaf), which will extend assistance to the initiative, plus managers and dignitaries from the private and public sectors.
Al-Ghafis said: “One of the key objectives of the TVTC is to train young Saudi men and women to strengthen their professional skills for rewarding technical careers. This is particularly important given the vast opportunities in the energy and technology sectors that drive the growth of our economy. Over the years, we have been working with GE in training Saudi students and preparing them for professional careers. The GE Technical Academy will serve as a center of excellence for training in advanced industries that contribute to stronger youth participation in the manufacturing sector.”
Immelt said: “The opening of the GE Technical Academy, the first of its kind initiative in the region by GE, underscores our long-term commitment to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and our partners. We have consistently focused on transferring our technological know-how and in building local competencies in Saudi Arabia, complementing the Government's vision to drive job creation and boost the manufacturing sector. The Academy, the fulfillment of a significant participation with TVTC, will strengthen the talent pool of Saudi professionals, who will have promising career opportunities at the GE Manufacturing Technology Center, which has already surpassed our Saudization targets, as well as other large-scale energy and technology companies.”
Building on the $1 billion commitment to the Kingdom announced by GE last year, and fulfilling its agreement with TVTC, the new GE Technical Academy is a not-for-profit organization and will open doors to the first batch of Saudi students in January 2014. With an annual intake capacity of 1,000 students in batches of 200 each, the Academy will train them on highly skilled technologies including mechanical and electrical power turbines, modern process control and measurement, electronic and healthcare maintenance and advanced welding operations, among others.
The trainees of GE Technical Academy will be ideal assets to the workforce of large-scale energy and technology-related industries, with which GE already has strong existing partnerships. They will also join the work-stream of the GE Manufacturing Technology Center in Dammam, the most advanced technology center of its kind by GE featuring a modern manufacturing facility for high-end equipment for the power, water and oil & gas industries, as well as a service and repair center for advanced turbine equipment.
The GE Technical Academy will offer all training programs designed to international standards, led by GE and TVTC, and through collaborations with leading American universities. Saudi high school students and graduates from industrial training institutes can apply to the Academy, and will be selected based on their academic qualifications.
Among other promising job opportunities are with GE's API and ISO-certified Pressure Control Facility, opened in October 2012, in Dammam, which manufactures wellhead equipment, x-mas trees and valves, among others, which support clients including Saudi Aramco with state-of-the-art manufacturing competencies.
The Pressure Control Facility has already created 75 new jobs, including for technically-skilled Saudis. Professionals and students trained at the GE Technical Academy will also have opportunities with GE's joint venture factories with local companies such as MEHECO and DARVICO, in addition to them being supported by TVTC in identifying rewarding professional opportunities thus strengthening the role of Saudi youth in the intensive-growth sectors of the Kingdom.
The graduates can also explore job opportunities with the newly proposed GE Oil & Gas Manufacturing Facility being planned in Industrial City 2 in Dammam, near the Pressure Control Facility, being built as part of GE's $1 billion commitment to the Kingdom. The facility will integrate different business lines of GE Oil & Gas under one roof providing consolidated offices, manufacturing capabilities, packaging and assembly for products including pumps and compressors for turbomachinery services, blowers and compressors for measurement control, speciality connectors and pipes for subsea, and artificial lift and pressure control equipment for drilling and surface services.
Located only 70 km from GE Manufacturing Technology Center, the Academy is conveniently situated near major industries. The center will have four spacious workshops, as well as various student amenities including conference rooms, student halls and cafeteria. The training program is for 24 months, and will also include advanced leadership courses that will build the skills of students in administrative and managerial functions too.
GE will hire the students for the GE Manufacturing Technology Center based on their academic performance at the Academy. Already, the Center has achieved an impressive 63 percent Saudization rate, and has been recognized by Prince Saud Bin Nayef for its Saudization Growth Plan. GE is also regarded as one of the Top 10 Employers of Choice in Saudi Arabia, and has announced plans to double its number of employees in the Kingdom to over 2,000 by 2015.
To date, GE has trained more than 150 students through its partnership with TVTC. Of the 50 students who joined the first GE Joint Technical Program with TVTC, 37 have joined GE in the Kingdom. Of the 100 students who joined the second edition of the program, 83 have also been hired by the company. GE's Oil & Gas business has also signed a 10-year agreement to create more internship for Saudi Aramco employees at leading global companies in North America.
GE is also promoting Saudi talent in the oil & gas sector, with over 40 percent Saudization achieved across its oil & gas business. Today, the company supports drilling and production services, pipelines, storage, industrial power generation, refining and petrochemicals, sectors which will offer promising job opportunities for the Saudi talent training from the GE Technical Academy. GE Oil & Gas also has signed a Corporate Procurement Agreement with Saudi Aramco to establish a long-term framework for the supply of GE Turbomachinery equipment and services that support the efficient production of oil & gas. — SG


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