Defined by excellence: Professional Development expands its horizons in Europe

Developing talent is a key element of capacity building for Aramco’s global operations, underpinned by a strong tradition of offering industrial and professional training pathways. Two of the flagship programs within this portfolio are the College Degree Program for Non-employee (CDPNE) and the Advanced Program (ADP), where the majority of our sponsored students attend global Top Ranked Universities to bring their talent and skill back to Saudi Arabia.

Operating from the UK, Aramco Europe’s Professional Development Unit (PDU) provides high level academic support services for all students under its remit, while also working within the Higher Education sector to establish and strengthen relationships between institutions and our Company. All aspects of studying abroad, from accommodation through to internships and volunteerism, see PDU deliver multi-dimensional support for students on their academic journey.

Expanding into Europe

Recently, PDU has extended its offering, expanding Aramco’s student presence into new frontiers. Faisal Al-Hajji, senior vice president for Human Resources marked this new milestone during his speech in “Celebrating Success” event which was held in UK to acknowledge the academic achievement of London universities students “The needs of our Business Lines continues to grow and with that comes the opportunity to review practices and see what emerging partners can help develop the next wave of talent within the Company. In supporting this approach, the Professional Development Unit have been working to introduce Aramco and its unique sponsorship program to top ranked universities in Italy, Germany, Switzerland and The Netherlands, alongside those in the UK.”

Currently almost 60 percent of sponsored students in Europe, both undergraduate and postgraduate are on courses at ‘Top 30’ institutions according to the latest rankings.

UK Leads the Way

As for the UK, which remains at the heart of Aramco’s academic offering in Europe, the establishment of the Manchester Student Center in November 2021 has allowed PDU to build and further strengthen its ties to education providers in the North of England and host student gatherings, where 49 percent of sponsored students in Europe are based. Inaugurated by HR SVP, the center is within walking distance of The University of Manchester and commutable from other key universities including Leeds, Liverpool and Sheffield.

The Journey Continues

Driven by excellence at every turn, the immense investment continues beyond the students’ university education. This is demonstrated by collective development programs that are specifically designed to provide Saudi Aramco employees with the necessary skill set to be agile and meet the dynamic business needs throughout their career progression. While the signature Professional Development Program (PDP) allows fresh graduates to gain long-term perspective, the professional and targeted development programs are aimed toward leadership competencies. Furthermore, the company is bridging the gap in emerging skills by offering degrees through the Hosted University Program and professional certifications wherein participants can work and study simultaneously with the support of both their business line and one of the top universities around the world.