Dr. Majid Bin Abdulaziz, Director of the General Organization for Technical Education and Vocational Training for women, affirmed that the organization’s approach towards accrediting the disciplines required for the women’s labor market does not recognize what he called the ‘phosphoric culture’, which he defines as the ‘abnormal phenomena that have spread in the community such as training women to be plumbers and electricians, which does not befit Saudi society.”
Dr. Abdulaziz told Asharq Al Awsat that the disciplines are amended and reconsidered every three years based on a preexisting paradigm and analytical studies that represent the current demands in the women’s labor market. He stressed that the studies take into account that some professions are not appropriate for a woman’s physique. He added that 33 disciplines within eight training fields are available to women in the technical labor market, which in turn were selected to fill in a gap in the public sector for women’s labor. These include hi-tech operations and maintenance in public schools, universities, administrative offices, and women’s ministerial offices, as well as institutions and governmental organizations, with the intention of providing a sustainable working environment for women.
He also expressed his hopes that the demands in the women’s private sector in the labor market be met. Almost entirely controlled by foreigners, the two main divisions are tailoring for women’s clothing and beauty salons. Abdulaziz believes that the main goal to be achieved is the ‘Saudization’ of these shops by providing scores of respectable jobs for Saudi women.
Studies conducted by the General Organization for Technical Education and Vocational Training for women revealed that Saudi women are not interested in technical and vocational professions and refrain from studying them by virtue of Saudi society frowning upon such professions. Studies have also shown that most women enroll in electronic technology; which entails the maintenance of office machines, in addition to the study of nutritional technology, which is the most popular. Other departments such as women’s beauty offer a range of specializations such as hairdressing, nail care and skincare.
The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz, is expected to officially inaugurate a number of training units and projects, which will be affiliated to the General Organization for Technical Education and Vocational Training starting this month and lasting throughout his upcoming tour in Asir, Jizan and Najran. The projects will be implemented in nine technical colleges and six high technical institutes for women.