Courses will range from six months to two years and are expected to commence in January 2011. The first training course will accommodate 60 young Saudi nationals for six months, covering six professions related to gold jewellery fabrication.
In addition, the WGC has developed the first Arabic goldsmith curriculum, which will form a main source of content delivered through the courses. The courses will focus on various elements of the gold jewellery industry including designing, moulding, smelting, finishing (polishing and varnishing), wire extrusion and general goldsmith skills.
The initiative has been developed in the KSA to help progress nationalisation (Saudization) efforts across the gold industry from manufacturing through to retail, and reaffirms Jeddah’s position as an important centre for the gold industry in the country.
The Institute is being created in partnership with Jeddah’s Heads of Jewellers and Goldsmith as well as main gold traders, and will be supported by Jeddah’s Chamber of Commerce & Industry in cooperation with the Saudi Human Resources Fund, National System for Joint Training and the Ministry of Labor.
Sheikh Jamil Farsi, Head of Jeddah’s Jewellers, Sheikh Faidhi Al-Hashdi, Head of Jeddah’s Goldsmith, Mr. Ali Al-Kindi, Sheikh Al-Hashdi’s Deputy and Mr. Mohammed Azzouz, a prominent goldsmith and senior training professional, as well as other key gold and jewellery traders in Jeddah, have also contributed significantly to making the Institute a reality.
Bisher Diab, WGC Country Manager in the KSA said, “The WGC has been present in the KSA for more than 16 years, and as such has witnessed many changes. We are delighted to now be able to play a role in what we believe represents a significant milestone in helping drive the industry forward, by helping create employment opportunities for nationals of the Kingdom. Any industry thrives on talent and it is fresh talent that brings about innovation.”
Diab went on to cite potential developments that may come about as the Institute becomes more established, saying, “We are also considering developing a female only department which will deliver courses on jewellery design and goldsmith skills.”
Sheikh Jamil Farsi, Head of Jeddah’s Jewellers, spoke of the importance of the Institute, commenting, “Nurturing homegrown talent is of critical importance in the Kingdom. We have built a strong industry around gold, and there is a greater need than ever for young trained professionals. The Jeddah Goldsmith Institute will, we hope, provide young individuals with the opportunity of a career path in an industry that is both sizeable and growing.”
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