Saudi Arabia launches global forum to discuss rapidly changing skills requirements

The kingdom aims to bring together public and private sector experts to discuss evolving work demands in the digital economy

Employees work in the clean rooms of a factory in the semiconductor industry near Grenoble, eastern France. AFP
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Riyadh will host a major international forum next year bringing business and academic experts together to discuss rapid changes in the world, and how they affect human development.

The Human Capability Initiative will gather more than 6,000 experts and 150 international keynote speakers from government, private and non-profit entities under the theme of Future Readiness.

Specifically, speakers will look at workplace skills as companies rapidly adopt Artificial Intelligence, automation in manufacturing and office processes, and transition to the green economy.

The forum will also attract think tanks from more than 50 countries to engage in dialogue and opportunities around developing human capability.

The first forum will be held on February 28 and 29 at King Abdulaziz International Convention Centre in Riyadh, under the patronage of Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The kingdom's Minister of Education, Yousef Al Benyan, said the conference will discuss the key skills required in the future global labour market, as well as the impact of rapid developments in digital economies.

“The conference is the first-of-its-kind global co-operative platform to catalyse international collaboration, enrich global dialogue in human capability development, and contribute to the development of human skills and a prosperous global economy,” said Mr Al Benyan, who is also chairman of the Executive Committee of Saudi Arabia's Human Capability Development Programme.

“Topics addressed at HCI are of vital importance in driving new conversations on shaping policy, collaboration, and private-public-third sector partnerships and investment at a global level in developing human capabilities. This will contribute to building strong and flexible economies to meet future challenges.”

Saudi Arabia hosts several international forums through the year under the patronage of Prince Mohammed.

Last week, the seventh edition of the Misk Global Forum took place in Riyadh under the theme The Big Now with youth, leaders, and innovators from all over the world participating in panels and discussions.

More than 5,000 people from 90 countries attended the seventh edition of the Future Investment Initiative forum in the Saudi capital from October 24 to 26.

Prince Mohammed attended a speech delivered by South Korea's President Yoon Suk Yeol at FII event.

Updated: November 22, 2023, 12:39 PM