A skills gap between industrial education output and manufacturing industry labour needs in the private sector in Saudi Arabia

Baqadir, Abdullah Abdulqadir (2013) A skills gap between industrial education output and manufacturing industry labour needs in the private sector in Saudi Arabia. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

From the oil boom in the 1970s up to present, Saudi Arabia, a leading oil producing country in the Middle East, has been encountering a serious shortage of skilled and qualified Saudi labour force, especially the private sector. Both the Saudisation policy and the current Ninth Five-Year Development Plan have addressed an urgent need to provide Saudi nationals with as many employment opportunities as possible to replace expatriate workers. To achieve this goal, the Saudi government has made great efforts to enhance the quality of education, as the key to a nation's future economic prosperity depends on the quality of its education and training. However, the current industrial education is still seriously blamed by private sector employers for failing to offer Saudi students of industrial education sufficient vocational skills training courses to obtain the kind of skills, knowledge, attitudes towards work at their request. In light of this serious vocational education issue, the purpose of this research was to investigate this skills gap between industrial education output and Saudi labour requirements in private manufacturing industries (excluding oil refining and petrochemicals), a sector that has been a major contributor to GDP growth since the late 1990s. A survey method was adopted to conduct this research by applying two research instruments: a questionnaire and semi-structured interviews. The aim of this survey research is to explore the perceptions of the manufacturing skills training offered in Saudi industrial education from the perspectives of three groups of stakeholders: managers in private manufacturing industries, trainers of industrial education and trainees of industrial education. The survey results revealed that a skills gap exists between the labour demand for qualified Saudi manpower and the current industrial education output and that there were social, cultural and economic factors leading to such a gap. This gap is the result of three factors-work ethics, specialised knowledge and generic skills, which play a key role in private manufacturing employers’ decisions to employ Saudi workers. In order to solve this educational problem, based on the comments by the three groups of stakeholders, this research suggests a model, namely, knowledge-based industrial education, to modify the current industrial education curriculum in order that the output of Saudi industrial education may be improved to fill this skills gap in the future.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Saudisation, Saudi industrial education, private manufacturing industry, private sector skills gap, human resource development, knowledge-based economy
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
L Education > L Education (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Education > Social Justice Place and Lifelong Education
Funder's Name: UNSPECIFIED
Supervisor's Name: Fiona, Dr. Patrick and George, Dr. Burns
Date of Award: 2013
Depositing User: Dr Abdullah Baqadir
Unique ID: glathesis:2013-4053
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 25 Mar 2013 15:17
Last Modified: 25 Mar 2013 15:17
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/4053

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