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AECOM and Princess Nourah University sign training agreement


Global infrastructure services firm AECOM and Princess Nourah University (PNU) have signed a training agreement that enables both organisations to collaborate on key areas of activity that include teaching and learning, internships and graduate recruitment.

Based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, PNU is the world’s largest female-only university. The agreement, signed for four years, outlines the pathway for the advancement of students onto AECOM’s internship and graduate programs.

Aligned to Vision 2030, the agreement supports the Kingdom’s drive to engage more females in the workplace and allow them to play a bigger role in the country’s economic growth.

Over the past two years, AECOM and PNU have held several joint workshops to share knowledge and explore areas of mutual interest, including interview coaching and job search support.

In addition, more than 10 PNU students have already completed internships at AECOM’s offices, providing them with practical experience of current industry thinking. Seven PNU graduates have advanced onto the graduate program to date. AECOM will continue to actively promote opportunities for internships and graduate recruitment opportunities to PNUs undergraduate and graduate students.

Mousa Mashraqi, HR Director, AECOM Arabia, says: “We are fully aware of the benefits that greater collaboration between industry and academia can bring. An important element of our collaboration with PNU is sharing knowledge and expertise to foster innovation and improve our understanding of current and future challenges in the Kingdom. Our partnership with PNU will focus on training the next generation of professionals with the skills that the country needs to meet the objectives of Vision 2030.”

With the aim of matching AECOM’s business and wider sector needs with academic skills, PNU is developing teaching and learning that is attractive to industry and tailored towards accreditations with professional bodies will remain a priority under the agreement.

Lena Alskran, an economics graduate from PNU, joined AECOM in December 2018 as a Business Development Assistant. Commenting on her experience she says: “Over the last six months I’ve been exposed to numerous different projects and people, and have applied the theory and soft skills I have learnt at university. Everyone has been very supportive of my professional development; I have a mentor and a clear development plan that will assist me in my goal to become a bid manager.”

“The training agreement with Princess Nourah University will leave a positive and long-term legacy in the Kingdom, equipping female professionals with the skills required to achieve Vision 2030,” comments Lara Poloni, Chief Executive, EMEA, AECOM. Detailing how the training agreement with PNU supports AECOM’s ambitious growth plans in Saudi Arabia, Lara says: “To resource our increasing backlog in Saudi Arabia we need to grow our headcount by 1,000 people in the next 12 months. Hiring young Saudi talent is a key part of our recruitment strategy. The ability to draw on the skills of a diverse range of people from a variety of different backgrounds is vital to our success as a business and the projects we deliver.”

“The ability to include the diversified, young Saudi talent in our project teams aligns fully with our clients’ expectations,” adds Ian Laski, President and CEO, AECOM Arabia. “A key part of AECOM’s mission in the Kingdom is to support the growth and expansion of the professional Saudi participation in the delivery of the Vision 2030.”

The training cooperation agreement was signed by AECOM’s Mousa Mashraqi and PNU’s Dr. Nourah Almatrafi at a ceremony at PNU, which was attended by representatives from both organisations.

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