Poultry producer Al Watania's Institute of Technology (WIT) was granted an investment of more than 50 million Saudi Arabian riyal (US$13 million) to train the country’s nationals in poultry production, with plans to extend this opportunity to other interested students.
The institute, which is a partnership between Al Watania and the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC), already has nearly 200 trainees – with 500 expected in the near future – to study all aspects of poultry production as well as the English language and basic science.
The course material was written by local and international poultry experts in co-operation with Cobb, which will be hosting top WIT students on month-long placements within its operations in Europe and the U.S. The first year of training consists of an intensive English course, general preparation subjects and basic poultry skills. The second year includes intensive theoretical and practical training on different subjects of poultry processing with at least two months’ on-the-job tuition.
According to Dr. Ahmed bin Fahd Al-Fuhaid, TVTC governor: “In launching the institute Prince Faisal has again shown his keenness in the training of citizens in various areas that would provide them with employment opportunities.
“The aim is to meet the requirements of the labour market by training Saudi cadres so that they can become competitive in the local poultry industry. The partnership between the TVTC and other local and foreign organisations aims to train citizens in accordance with international standards,” he said.
Roy Mutimer, Europe, Middle East and Asia vice president of Cobb-Vantress, one of the partners and sponsors, said the WIT concept is "truly visionary in collaborating between industry, national government and local authorities."
According to Mutimer: “We at Cobb are proud to be a major sponsor because we believe WIT will generate talented, professional graduates that will help develop and improve poultry operations in the Kingdom, the region and beyond.
“WIT could act as a template around the world for solving the ongoing challenges of attracting and developing young talent for the poultry industry.
“The facilities are world-class and the combination of language training, poultry theory lectures and practical training with in-house laboratory, farming and hatchery equipment supplemented by industry placements is truly unique,” Mutimer said.