GAMI Launches MIHC Strategy for Kingdom’s Defense Sector

The General Authority for Military Industries (GAMI) launched today the Military Industry Human Capital (MIHC) strategy for the Kingdom’s defense sector. The launch event was held at the Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh. In attendance for the event, were a number of key Excellencies amongst Ministers and leaders from both the Government and private sector.


His Excellency GAMI Governor Ahmad Al-Ohali opened with a keynote, in which he acknowledged the unmitigated support of the nation’s leadership, and its unrelenting custodianship of the sector, as an embodiment of its aspirational vision of enhancing the Kingdom’s strategic autonomy. As for the ultimate goal, it is to achieve localization of more than 50% of expenditure on defense equipment and services, by the year 2030. A goal that is expected to be reached by focusing on developing industries, research and technology, national competencies, job creation for Saudi’s youth, and an increased contribution from the sector to the national economy.


Al-Ohali extended his deepest appreciation and gratitude to the Custodian of the two holy mosques King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, HRH Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister, Chairman of the Board of Directors, and HRH Prince Khalid Bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, Deputy Defense Minister, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors. He also thanked the esteemed members of GAMI’s Board of Directors, for their mentorship, guidance, and decree to approve the strategy, noting that their continued commitment to realizing the targeted outcomes of this promising sector’s ambitious strategy is crucial along this aspirational localization journey.


Al-Ohali went on to note that the MIHC strategy effectively erects and enables a system to stimulate the cultivation, development, and empowerment of national cadres. In fact, the human capital strategy is a direct derivative of the localization strategy for industry and R&D in the sector, to assure the readiness and sustainability of qualified human capital pursuant to achieving the sector’s localization targets via 3 core Programs: Educational and Training Programs, Enablement Policies Programs, and Guidance and Counselling Programs, wherein GAMI as always works closely with its ecosystem partners to secure the requirements of broad-scale development. The desired outcome is molding and refining know-how and capabilities deemed requisite in domains and specialties of relevance to the defense sector. In this context, Al-Ohali explained how the MIHC is expected to harmonize educational and training programs at university and vocational levels, with the desired outcome of attracting experienced cadres with niche expertise to the Kingdom’s defense sector, thereby bridging the requisite skills gap by focusing on more than 800 skills from which 172 job domains emerge.


Lastly, Al-Ohali revealed that the MIHC strategy’s Programs comprise certain priority initiatives, chief of which is establishing a specialized national defense Academy in coordination and collaboration with the entities operating in the sector, with several other initiatives already developed to satisfy the sector’s targeted need.


“Ministerial Panels”

The launch event comprised 3 Panels, beginning with a ministerial panel: “Government’s support to develop the human capital ecosystem in this key Vision 2030 priority sector”, and its panelists were H.E. Khalid Al Faleh, Minister of Investment, H.E. Ahmad Al-Rajhi, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, and H.E. Bandar Al-Khorayef, Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources. The panel discussed the Kingdom’s promising investment opportunities, the regulatory reforms needed to facilitate establishing effective and meaningful partnerships, filling the gaps in the Kingdom’s market across a number of fields amongst which is defense, developing the value ecosystem in the defense sector marketplace, not to mention rehabilitation of cadres with skillsets that are non-conformant with the sector’s needs.


“Empowering National Cadres”

As for the 2nd Panel: “How the military industries sector offers a diverse range of career paths”, its panelists were H.E. Khalid Al-Sabti, Chairman of the Education and Training Evaluation Commission (ETEC), H.E. Lt. Gen. Fayyad Al-Ruwaili, Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, H.E. Ahmad Al-Ohali, Governor of GAMI, and H.E. Ahmed Al-Fuhaid, Governor of Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC). It tackled the challenge of developing and facilitating the focal element of human capital, and the reverberations of this focus on the sector as a whole, not to mention the importance of sharpening skill, talent, and expertise via dedicated technical and vocational programs.


“Accelerating Progress and Development”

The 3rd and final Panel: “How education, training and development support the military industry’s human capital to prepare locals for working in the defense industry for private companies” included Dr. Muhammad M. Al-Saggaf, President of King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM), Turki Al-Jawini, GM of Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF), Walid Abukhaled, CEO of Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI), and Brigadier General (Retired) Joseph Rank, President of Lockheed Martin Saudi Arabia. The discussion touched on the pertinence of the strategy to enabling progress in the sector via aligning educational outcomes with the sector’s needs, shaping and molding national cadres in various sectors and in the defense sector specifically, establishing high quality specialized training programs that serve the sector, and building meaningful partnerships with relevant sectors to develop human capital that is qualified to lead the sector in the future.


“Agreements and Partnerships”

As a crucial byproduct of the MIHC strategy launch event, several Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) were signed involving development and enablement of human capital in the sector. A triparty MoU was signed between the Ministry of Investment (MISA), GAMI, and the UK-based Cranfield University, while a second MoU was signed between GAMI and Leonardo Company to further exploit defense-specific investment opportunities in education and training. Such partnerships allow amplification of joint cooperation, close collaboration, refining academic programs and curricula, offering scholarship and internship opportunities, and even creating new disciplines and fields of study.

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