Economic diversification into solar sector could enhance Saudisation levels

Solar sector has potential for youth to set up businesses; could fulfill Saudisation program targets

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As the Saudi Arabian construction market copes with new governmental policies to engage the local employable population in the country’s workforce, industry leaders have suggested the Kingdom diversify its business opportunities across other economic sectors to increase the number of employed Saudis in the market.

Browning Rockwell, executive director of the Saudi Arabia Solar Industry Association (SASIA), a private, not-for-profit organisation aimed at promoting solar power in the country said Saudi Arabian workforce have begun to realise the potential of solar business in the region.

“Over the last few years, we have seen increased interest from local Saudi Arabian youth in SASIA’s activities,” Rockwell revealed. “The solar industry is like the internet of Saudi Arabia, and attempts to attract young entrepreneurs and SMEs towards the sector will reap rewards for the country.”

Rockwell told Big Project ME that SASIA will soon collaborate with private sector entities from the country’s solar industry to provide the youth with a platform where they can compete and showcase their skills to potential employers.

“The idea is to bring the youth together and rate them based on certain parameters after they have showcased their aptitude for solar operations,” he explained. “The industry leaders participating in the event could possibly be the companies or individuals with whom these youth find jobs or other opportunities following the program.”

Speaking at MENASOL 2014 in Dubai, UAE, Rockwell added both, men and women are taking to SASIA’s presence in the region. “This is an encouraging sign for the country,” he expressed. “I’m hoping to extend SASIA’s network to include representatives from the solar industries of other GCC member nations in the future.”

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