Landmark Arabia keen to create more job opportunities for Saudi women

RetailME Bureau

Middle Eastern retail conglomerate, Landmark Arabia signed a partnership agreement with Education for Employment-Global (EFE), one of the leading organisations linking unemployed youth to skills and job opportunities across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

Since the Group started operations in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1994, Saudi nationals and women have been a focus for Landmark Arabia. Today, Landmark Arabia is one of the largest employers of Saudi nationals in the Kingdom, employing more than 4,500 Saudi women who form an integral part of the organisation. The Group has always passionately driven the agenda of enabling women in the retail industry. Over the years, Landmark Arabia has employed and trained Saudi women to continuously improve their skillsets and produce women managers in retail. This partnership with EFE is yet another step to further drive economic empowerment for women in the region.

As part of the agreement, Landmark Arabia will support EFE’s programmes to enable women’s economic empowerment across different sectors of the society and tap Arab youth potential. As a first step in the direction, the retail conglomerate will fund a bespoke programme that provides training and placement to 50 women aged 18 to 25 from less privileged backgrounds.

Despite Saudi women accounting for 58% of university students, they comprise about 16% of the workforce. One of the main reasons for this is the disconnect between skills – such as communications and customer service – needed and the requirements of current and future jobs. The Landmark-EFE programme will address this issue by providing demand-driven job training enabling unemployed Saudi young women to thrive in the workplace. On successfully completing the EFE programme, these candidates will be offered suitable positions in the Group’s large pool of retail jobs across its 850+ stores in the Kingdom, as well as across the MENA region.

“Enabling Saudi women to become more economically independent by participating in the labour market has always been a priority for our Group. At Landmark Arabia, more than 66% of our Saudi national workforce are women who are taking on prominent retail positions in our company,” said Nisha Jagtiani, group director, Landmark Group. “In alignment with the Saudi Vision 2030, we are committed to employing and training Saudi women in the retail sector. Our partnership with EFE is a step closer towards implementing our plans in this direction. Through this collaboration we aim to create awareness among Saudi women about employment and growth in the retail sector. As one of the region’s leading private sector employers we are committed to engaging with Saudi women by investing in their education and training.”

The EFE-Landmark partnership will enable Landmark Arabia to reach out to the youth candidates across Saudi Arabia and provide access to employment and volunteering opportunities.

“Nearly 50,000 young women have graduated from EFE programs across the MENA region.  Each day, they are creating a brighter future for themselves, their families and their communities because they are empowered with the skills and opportunities, they need to reach their potential. Through this partnership with Landmark Group, EFE will be able to raise the awareness of young women in Saudi Arabia and across region about the potential of jobs in the retail sector,” added Dima Najim, managing director of EFE-UAE.

“We at EFE are proud to partner with Landmark Group to broaden our impact in Saudi Arabia for young Saudi women, jointly advancing Saudi Vision 2030. More than 53% of our Saudi programme graduates since we started in Saudi are women and we are pleased to support the Saudization efforts through the provision of our different programmes, job trainings and placement and pathway to a job offered in the Eastern and Western provinces,” concluded Amr Abdallah, Gulf programmes director of EFE.

In addition to EFE training programme, Landmark Arabia has also facilitated several programmes to develop Saudi talent, including an on-the-job managerial level training for employees, partnership with universities and career fairs.