The Human Capability Initiative Saudi Arabia – Leading Change

Posted by Annamarie Lawrence

The Human Capability Initiative (HCI) in Riyadh provides an insight into what the priorities are for Saudi Arabia in terms of the future of jobs, skills and education in the context of the region's ambitious changes and developments. The HCI agenda is full of presentations, panels and thought-provoking personal stories of success from big names around the world who are leaders in NGOs, fortune 500s and governments.  

Global conversations, like those we will enjoy this week at the Human Capability Initiative,  have led to important developments in education in Saudi Arabia including the improvement of curricula, teacher training programs and the overall quality of education in the country. The establishment of branch campuses of renowned international universities has provided Saudi students with access to high-quality education, promoting academic excellence and raising educational standards.  

Global conversations have also provided the Saudi Arabian Government with inspiration from high performing systems of skills development to support the establishment of programmes in Saudi. Led by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development (MHRSD), these programmes have paved the way for a national skills governance framework, including initiatives to bring employers and education closer together through the establishment of Sector Skills Bodies across 12 sectors. This effort provides the formal mechanism for the needs of employers to be articulated through job and skill standards to more closely align graduates with the labour market 

To offer Saudi labour market insights to the world and national systems for skills anticipation and matching, the MHRSD have established the national labour observatory to ensure labour market and education decisions are based on the latest job insights. This national observatory will provide important labour market data that allows insights on which job areas are emerging, growing and declining and help report against Saudization targets. Deeper insights allow education and skills trends to be tracked and provide intelligence to inform the alignment of the education system with the demand of the job market. It is also useful to inform career guidance and inform school leavers about jobs, wages and career pathways to support their study or career choices.  

As part of the G20 Behavioural Insights Knowledge Exchange Network, the Riyadh Behavioural Insights Centre provides labour market policy makers with expert insights to better inform policy development and monitoring. The centre has produced some interesting insights into what works and what doesn’t work in the Saudi labour market with interesting reports on Saudization, gender in the workplace among other topics.  

Global policy conversations serve as a platform for countries to share best practices, exchange ideas, and learn from each other's experiences. For Saudi Arabia, engaging in these conversations allows the country to align its education policies with global standards and benefit from the knowledge and expertise of other nations. Likewise, as numerous international human capital experts attend HCI we have the privilege of learning from the Saudi Arabia experience of skills development and labour market development.  

The Saudi platform for global conversations is like no other. It is visionary, exciting, fantastical and focused all at the same time providing opportunity for learning and knowledge exchange for the whole world.  

For our own part, and as a prominent global actor in education and skills development, we look forward to adding our voice to the conversation. Drawing upon our experiences working with governments, national bodies, and educational institutions around the world, our specialists contribute to the evolution of best practice in the areas of internationalization of Higher Education, teacher training and teacher preparation programs, developing and optimising skills and accountability frameworks, labour market insights, and skills anticipation and matching. 


Download a selection of bite-size papers written by our specialists to inform GCC education and skills development policy:



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