Saudi Gazette – ACCORDING to the General Authority for Statistics report, for the second quarter of this year, there are more the 5 million Saudis working in the workforce and around 65 percent of them are aged between 20 to 39 years. The report showed that in 2016, the unemployment rate in the Kingdom of Saudis reached 11.6 percent and 39 percent of this group are aged between 25 to 29 years and 64.1 percent of them are women.

Although the unemployment rate has increase this year by .1 percent compared to 2015, one of the Vision 2030 aims is to reduce the unemployment rate by giving jobs to Saudi youth. The goal of reducing the employment rate could be reached through developing the skills of the youth, providing them training with enhanced programs, and investing on them through education.
Aligning with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, one of Muhammad Bin Salman Foundation for charity, (MiSK) focuses on educating youth and developing their skills. The non-profit organization, succeeded in creating a cultivated learning environment and develop the youth’s creative as well as leadership skills so they are prepared with capabilities for entering the Saudi workforce.

Many young Saudis have benefited from MiSK’s trainings, programs, events, and initiatives. Those Saudis believe by their participation in MiSK activities they would learn and develop in the areas of business, culture, and literature as well as social and technical fields.

In partnering with Al-Arabiya channel this August, MiSK had give the chance to around ten young Saudis to take a ‘Video Journalist’ training course, that focuses on writing, production, and post-production process of news channels.

Dalal Saqr, a media graduate and one of the trainees in the ‘ Video Journalist’ training program, explained that she earned a valuable knowledge on the field of video journalism because of this opportunity.

“After the training I got a massive load of information and advise from the experts. This experience would be a turning point in my career, and it will have a strong impact on my future to be part of the workforce, especially that this training was made after a partnership between MiSK and Al-Arabiya,” she said.

Majed Al-Turki, a journalist and another participant in this training, said, “I had a great experience and I learned what I could not learn in the four years of university. Since the program offers practical training, we were trained as if we were a real video journalist in a TV channel. This training would help us to be part of the workforce and give us a chance in the market.”

MiSK, which consider youth an important investment for the future of building a creative, knowledgeable society, is concentrating in providing different means of training and help to foster talent, creative potential, and innovation in a healthy environment that points the way toward opportunities in the arts, business, and sciences.

It has signed several international and local partnerships that focus on educating as well as empowering and developing youth for having a better future. Some of those partners are, Khan Academy, Boston Consulting Group, Harvard University, Google, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Harvard University, with the sponsoring of Saudi Aramco around 100 male and female Saudi students had the chance this summer to study at the prestigious Harvard University in the US as part of a leadership development program.

GE also signed with MiSK a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in the field of education and training, to design and launch training programs for young Saudi professionals and executives.
MiSK has launched different creative forums and festivals in the couple of years aiming to gather young talented Saudis and motivate them. ‘Tweeps’, was one of the foundation’s online forums.

Its goal was to promote entrepreneurship and giving youth the chance to share their expertise on communication.

But ‘Tweeps’ was not the only successful forum that was held by MiSK, for ‘Shoof’, which means ‘Look’, was another successful hit for the NGOs and it was held the last time in 2015 for the third time. This annual forum, one of MiSK initiatives, that is concentrating on the visual digital media field.

‘Hakaya MiSK’ festival, the first celebration in the Kingdom that focuses on giving talented young Saudis the chance to develop their creative skills, proved to be a big draw in Riyadh by attracting the attention of many youth and children.

The event turned out to be an exciting experience to both participants and visitors. Naif Alshayiqi, a project manager in one of the creative companies ‘RGB’ and a participant in the festival, explained that he did not expect this response since the visitors’ interactions were very positive in everything they saw and we presented from paper craft, presenting videos about Japan, and even the origami, which is focus on the art of paper folding.

He said, “This festival for sure would have an effect since more youth would be encouraged to participate and show their works and people will see that there are many talented youth in the field of writing, drawing, animation, or production. It is very beautiful and inspiring to see these groups in ‘Hakaya MiSK’ and I hope we see more and fresh talent again in a new edition next year.”

Pokemon Go in MiSK Festival and it is electronic game “Pokemon Go,” was another innovative step by them. During the festival the animation department in the event had launched a comic movie that features chasing Pokemons that led to discovering many heritage sites in the Kingdom.

MiSK also focuses on child development and had several events and initiatives including, Awalemna, and TedX Children events since the foundation is also focusing on developing creative children.

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