Citizen Training Centre e-Platform
Technical and Vocational Training corporation

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
A number of problems can be identified and these can be conflated into two clear macroeconomic issues that have become very significant for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Problem 1: Oil dependency and price volatility The first stems from the fact that the Saudi economy is highly dependent on oil and, following a decade of relative prosperity engendered by the ‘oil boom’ decade (2003-2013), prices approximately halved in the second half of 2014. Global investment in oil had increased during the boom years, new sources of energy supply, such as renewable energy and US shale oil, became available and these factors, together with disruptive technologies in the energy sector, have meant greater competition (and therefore lower prices) for the Kingdom’s key export and revenue source The impact of these changes has been strongly felt. The Kingdom’s budget surplus of 6.5 per cent of GDP in 2013 changed to a deficit of 2.3 per cent in 2014 as proceeds from oil exports dropped. With lower oil prices persisting into 2015, the IMF has projected continued fiscal deficits for the Kingdom for the foreseeable future, a forecast supported by an actual deficit of 15 per cent for 2015 (World Economic Outlook, IMF, October 2015; Jadwa Investment, December 2015) Problem 2: A dual labour market The negative economic changes are in a country with a dual labour market that is split between higher-paid Saudi jobs, mainly in the public sector, and lower-paid foreign workers, predominantly in the private sector. The Kingdom has a relatively weak record of private sector job creation for Saudi nationals, which will be a major challenge and potential opportunity regardless of the future trajectory of oil prices: SOURCES: Central Department of Statistics and Information, Saudi Ministry of Economy and Planning; Saudi Ministry of Labour; Saudi Ministry of Health; McKinsey Global Institute analysis Exhibit 1: The duality of the Saudi Labour Market Thus, the steep and persistent decline in oil prices has significantly worsened the growth outlook for Saudi Arabia, and the need to diversify away from oil has become even more critical, but this is against a background of structural weaknesses in the labour market. In this regard, Saudi Vision 2030 devotes considerable attention to technical and vocational skills development, specifically regarding access to affordable (but quality) technical and vocational education and training (TVET) and the acquisition of such skills for employment and entrepreneurship. The disadvantaged in society are potentially strong beneficiaries because they have lacked opportunities for skilled employment and this initiative is an important strand in moving policies towards the elimination of gender disparity and ensuring access for the vulnerable. As a key player in the TVET eco system, the Technical and Vocational Technical Corporation (TVTC) wants to ensure its systems effectiveness, scalability, liability and integrity. By exposing it to society, to citizens as employees and as a training business line to different stakeholders (HRDF, Government Employee, Ministry of Labour), TVTC can be the trusted and preferred TVET training partner for key employment initiatives.

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
TVTC is supporting the Saudi economy in introducing service and knowledge value generation by equipping youths and adults with the skills required for employment, decent work, entrepreneurship and lifelong learning. The transition to a knowledge economy is a key factor in maintaining future progress and sustainable GDP growth. With a project name of ‘Citizen Training Centre e-Platform’, and using ICT as a business enabler for the initiative ‘Citizen Training Centre,’ the goal for TVTC is to be the preferred training partner for HRDF/MSLD and other sponsors or stakeholders for all national industry initiatives.

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
This initiative solved the national TVET training challenges by building an e-Platform solution for the Citizen Training Centre (CTC) business line. As it covers all of the territory of Saudi Arabia, CTC has a direct impact on improving the wellbeing of the whole Saudi population (see exhibits 2 and 3 below) and has the capacity to equip all youths and adults with the skills required for employment, decent work, entrepreneurship and lifelong learning. The new e-Platform enhances these aspects by: • Ease of use for all the training stakeholders and customers by directly integrating it with all government entities through the GSB (Government Service Bus). • Providing a centralized enrolment, training, graduation, certificate awarding and population targeting control system. • Enhanced training accessibility, achieved by publishing and making accessible all available training sessions according to the needs of citizens, their situation and location. • Providing a trustworthy system that can ensure partner's funds are used to reach the targeted population • Establishing a feedback channel where TVTC can learn from trainees, based on their evaluation of all session elements, and thereby meeting the expectations of citizens. • Provide a transparent billing system for training sponsors (HRDF, MLSD etc…). Prior to the CTC e-Platform initiative, there was a significant problem with regard to reaching the targeted populations – it was all done at regional levels using limited (human and technical) resources. This was a serious challenge for TVTC because of the short time periods involved and the need to fulfil a responsibility of high levels of enrolment and the provision of training sessions. It was overcome by embracing and installing a transparent training system and thereby reaching the target population (particularly including the disadvantaged and underrepresented in terms of labour market participation) (see Exhibit 4 below). In summary, and thanks to its new CTC e-Platform, TVTC was able to attract more students, focus directly on the targeted populations (including women and the otherwise disadvantaged) and deliver the training programs as a key player in several national initiatives (such as telecoms, retail and maintenance nationalization). This was achieved with all necessary and due respect for timeliness, effectiveness, efficiency, transparency and principles concerning the integrity of the training provided. Male - Female Source: Demographic Survey 2016 General Authority for Statistics Exhibit 2: National Saudi Population by sex, Administrative Area Source: TVTC's BI department, TVTC's EA Office Exhibit 3: 2015 - TVTC's citizen training centre area coverage and capacity Source: General Authority for Statistics, HRDF (Human Resource Development Fund) Exhibit 4: Labour workforce landscape in Saudi Arabia, 2016

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
Traditional monolithic applications suffer from challenges such as 1. Being difficult to develop and maintain. 2. Inflexibility, for example in being difficult to test, where one single change can affect multiple sub units. 3. Being slow to adapt, where changing even a single aspect of the application can have an impact on the entire code. Standards are not a silver bullet that will solve all of the problems. Each solution has its own challenges and cannot be blindly applied to all scenarios. Some of the challenges faced by our teams were: 1. How to effectively partition the business and application. 2. How to scale and manage team within government environments. 3. How to find the best technology fit in respect of our sustainability constraints. TVTC’s innovations included the combination of new architecture paradigms and a concept of customization to fit with specific constraints and the existing culture. The result was a framework composed of: • Scrum, which represents an agile project management methodology. • Micro-services with smaller manageable units of business capabilities that are easy to develop, test and maintain and which also allow for speedier adaptation. • Docker, which is a cloud computing concept hosting smart endpoints.

 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
The CTC e-Platform was designed and developed by TVTC in its Information Technology Department. The Business Centre was involved as a business owner to provide and set all of the business requirements, to coordinate with external stakeholders and manage the training programs. For example training programs such as: • Social technical training (sponsor by TVTC) • Mobile sector nationalization (sponsor by HRDF) • Evening programs (sponsor by the NTP fund) TVTC governed the training programs through the e-Platform: • Technical e-Platform governance: TVTC IT Department • Business owner governance: TVTC Business Centre • Training session delivery through 45 colleges and 105 other institutions Statistics in the table below indicate readiness for the training program ‘Mobile sector nationalization’, with training sessions delivered (as indicated) to 59,059 beneficiaries: Number of trainees Number of applicants Category 56468 151133 Citizens 3532 3532 Government employees 173 173 Private sector employees 20 20 TVTC employees 59059 154858 Total
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
Within the context of the CTC e-Platform initiative, and in full alignment with global business drivers to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and the promotion of lifelong learning opportunities for all the citizens, the TVTC strategy sets the following goals to fulfil its mission through current and on-going programs: • TVET for GE • Social technical training • Training in prison • Women skills improvement • International technical colleges • Strategic transformation program • Technical assistant program • Flexible programs • Mobile sector nationalization • Private training • Evening programs • Strategic partnerships • Training for special needs • Capabilities building (CBC) • Transition to semester training year • International accreditation • e-learning • "Riyada" for entrepreneurship Exhibit 5: Current and on-going TVTC programs  The CTC e-Portal initiative contributes towards the achievement of the following TVTC goals: 1. Creation of an agile system that is adaptive to changing market demands. 2. Increasing the pool of target students and more efficient utilization of existing resources. The first iteration scope of the CTC e-Portal initiative covered the following programs: • Social technical training • Mobile sector nationalization • Evening programs For the listed programs, the CTC e-Portal covers the training cycle from the enrolment of students until the issuing of certificates. The CTC e-Portal project includes the following business functionalities for serving different training programs: • Training program creation with specific population targeting o Programs classified by civil services department o Programs non classified by civil services department • Session training management regarding training programs targeting specific populations o Specialties, trainers and trainee management o Prerequisite preparation for trainee by the trainers o Exams and results management o Training session evaluation • Session management by region and location The e-Portal project was created by TVTC employees (auto funded by TVTC) and the technology used was open source. The only license and support used was the infrastructure one Oracle Database/Redhat Operation system (support) and this was already available from other projects. The CTC e-Portal team comprised: Information Technology Department • 6 Developers • One team lead • Application Architect Business Centre Department • Two business analyst representing the business owner The e-Portal was produced by this team over a period of 6 months, including design, implementation, unitary testing and functional testing. The development methodology used was DevOps. The technical phase of the project started on 01/09/2015 and the Technical Project go-live date was 11/03/2016. Following these milestones, the first training program was initiated. The table below shows the plan of action undertaken in the e-Portal to follow up the training program and make the necessary adjustment when needed. Task Name Start Finish Develop a project governance structure 10/03/16 10/03/16 Develop and publish the e-Platform portal 11/03/16 11/03/16 Registration started in the Business Centre through the portal 14/03/16 14/03/16 Finalization of the acceptance criteria for trainees 15/03/16 16/03/16 Establishment of controls to avoid multiple training registration 16/03/16 16/03/16 Collection of training unit elements of training program delivery 17/03/16 17/03/16 Review registered data and analysis of the population registered 18/03/16 04/04/16 Elimination of fraud cases and enhanced control processes 21/03/16 06/04/16 despatching of the training sessions to all territories using the e-Portal 22/03/16 22/03/16 Enablement of citizen auto registration and automatic acceptance control 23/03/16 25/03/16 Sharing of the training calendar with all the accepted applicants 24/03/16 30/03/16 Start training for sales and customer service - Wave 1 25/03/16 Preparation of workshop for mobile devices maintenance - Foundation - Wave 1 28/03/16 28/03/16 Start training for sales and customer service - Wave 2 29/03/16 Preparation of workshop for mobile devices maintenance - Foundation - Wave 2 20/04/16 Preparation of workshop for mobile devices maintenance - Foundation - Wave 3 21/04/16 Preparation of workshop for mobile devices maintenance - Advanced 22/04/16

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
The challenge for TVTC is to equip young people with the skills required to access the world of work, including the necessary skills for self-employment, to improve responsiveness to changing skill demands from companies and communities, to increase productivity and increase levels of wages. TVET can reduce access barriers to the world of work, for example through work-based learning, and by ensuring that skills gained are recognized and certified. TVTC also offers skill development opportunities for low-skilled people who are under-employed or unemployed, as well as out of school youths and individuals not in education, employment and training. Setting out to achieve this challenge required considerable contributions. From the public sector, this came from: • Staff from the national transformation program • Staff currently involved with TVTC • Those working with vulnerable people and communities Private sector contributions came from: • The telecoms sector • The ICT sector • Business owners, including those who provided staff to work alongside TVTC staff in developing application architecture • Companies working with the Business centre to stimulate market demands and identify existing skill gaps among private sector employees NGO’s have been involved both in terms of developing training programs and as the recipients of them. For example, in developing free training in social and other affairs for vulnerable groups and in participating in the ‘Al Rajhee Hadeed, which provided technical training for 34 NGOs and 1027 other trainees.

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
The most successful output from our e-Platform is the training delivered for the project ‘Telecom retail and maintenance nationalization’, which benefitted 59 059 trainees from all parts of the Kingdom. The national initiative stakeholders are TVTC, HRDF, PPA, GOSI, MCS and MCI. Thanks to the e-Platform developed and implemented (by TVTC), we succeeded (in a short period) in providing and overseeing transparent progress of the training delivered by TVTC. We have also been able to provide satisfactory evidence to the project's funding party (HRDF) that showed how our platform was targeting the appropriate (disadvantaged) populations as per the initiative requirement, for example Saudi citizens without any employment or self earned revenues. Thanks to this CTC e-Platform, the fraud percentage never exceeded 2 % (the risk appetite has been fixed by TVTC and its partners). Further benefits from this project include: 1. Accessibility: The training program is available for registration anytime, anywhere and for every eligible person. 2. Transparency: The population segmentation process is carried out automatically using agreed rules defined by the stakeholders and shared with the population (clear inputs and clear outputs governed by a centralized platform). 3. Trustworthy: The platform assists TVTC in being a trusted training domain for both citizens and program sponsors. This is due to its transparent acceptance control, billing, and government service business integration module. 4. Scalability : The enrolment process was scalable due to an innovative infrastructure used by our e-Platform (Docker Micro-services). In addition to the technology scalability, the e-Platform helps the training units to scale their teams according to applicant number progress. 5. Liability : Thanks to this e-Platform, TVTC is able to follow all of the training sessions and take the final decision to deliver the training certificate according to several criteria. An auto survey is a mandatory step before awarding the training certificate and this helps TVTC to evaluate all the training environment (Sites, Timing, Curriculum, trainer, etc…).

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
The context of this initiative was a challenge for TVTC, based as it was on a commitment to a short deadline in terms of the ‘go-life-date’. Concurrently, TVTC business analysts and the development team were receiving numerous changes in the business rules. Meanwhile, many stakeholders (HRDF, MLSD, TVTC, and other government entities) were working on a national initiative called ‘Telecom retail and repairing nationalization’, with TVTC as the training partner. The e-Platform was the key success factor that overcame these issues and enabled the right population to be reached, anywhere in the kingdom, in the short timelines set. In order to respect delivery time and meet the challenge of ongoing changes, we used an agile/scrum methodology and Devops foundation framework. One of the most significant obstacles has been fraud control and how fast solutions can be implemented once a new case is discovered. With the complicity of their companies, for example, many employees took the following steps to benefit from the training for free: 1. The record in the social insurance and labour database was switched to ‘hold’ by the employer 2. The trainee could then enrol as the platform considered him a ‘Saudi without job’. 3. Once the enrolment was completed, the employee could switch to normal status and get the training session for free. The analytics carried out on the platform helped us to discover that in many cases the employment record status was changed just after enrolment, so we initiated an investigation and solved the problem by: 1. Installing a batch process to check before each training start. 2. Once a fraud case has been uncovered, the trainee record is removed from the training session. With this control and others, and in line with our commitment to partners, we succeeded in keeping the fraud percentage under 2 %.

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
Through the CTC e-Platform, TVTC succeeded in becoming a key player in many national initiatives and social initiatives. For example: • Telecom sector nationalization • National transformation program • The Hadeed al Rajhee initiative social training initiative National initiatives that lead to the integration of disadvantaged groups in the national workforce are facing difficulties in terms of funding and capabilities. TVTC provides policy advice and capacity development that makes TVET more accessible to all disadvantaged and vulnerable groups, including through investment in information and communication technologies (ICTs). The innovative measures employed have significantly widened access and participation rates, particularly for vulnerable and disadvantaged groups. A team of application architects, in partnership with business owners, have designed a new initiative to be launched that will further embrace and enhance the transparency, accessibility, integrity and attractiveness of our TVET system. As indicated in the table below, the national training programs delivered by TVTC, has had a direct impact on various groups in the population, achieved by the transparent control system implemented in our CTC e-Platform: Number of trainees of applicants rebmuN Category 56468 151133 Citizens 3532 3532 employees Government 173 173 Private sector employees 20 20 TVTC employees 59059 154858 Total As a part of the social training business line, TVTC has strong contacts with local NGOs and provides free training sessions for vulnerable groups. A specific program, funded by ‘Al Rajhee Hadeed, for example, and as noted in a previous section, provided technical training for 34 NGOs and 1027 trainees from identified vulnerable groups.

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
The e-Platform solution for the Citizen Training Centre (CTC) business line has had a direct impact on improving the wellbeing of a significant proportion of the Saudi population, across the whole geographic spread of the Kingdom, by equipping youths and adults with the skills required for employment, decent work, entrepreneurship and lifelong learning. The new e-Platform enhances accountability and accessibility in this business line by: • Improving accessibility to the services throw the e-Services published by the e-Platform, where trainees as well as other stakeholders become directly integrated with other government entities through the GSB (Government Service Bus). Through feedback loops and monitoring (described previously), stakeholders have a direct influence on changes implemented and future directions taken. • Providing centralized enrolment, training, graduation and certificate generation as well as a population targeting control system (where all the actions have a specific owner and can be followed by the business owner). Through this integration, the system is accountable in its entirety to users and other stakeholders. • Enhanced training accessibility, achieved by publishing all of the available training sessions across citizen's situations and their location. • The provision of a trustworthy and transparent system that ensures that all of the allocated funds of partners reach the targeted population. • The establishment of further feedback channels, whereby TVTC can learn from trainees, based for example on their evaluation of all the session elements and whether these meet expectations. • The provision of a transparent billing system for training sponsors (HRDF, MLSD, etc…).

 12. Were special measures put in place to ensure that the initiative benefits women and girls and improves the situation of the poorest and most vulnerable? (If applicable)
Efforts to support economic growth with the development of skills closely aligned to the needs of labour markets include an array of different policy measures. These measures have addressed the needs for better information about labour demand and supply and improving the performance of labour market strategies. These strategies recognise that labour markets will be most efficient if they are inclusive of all members of the population on the basis of equal opportunities. Providing these opportunities means reaching out to vulnerable populations, and ensuring that they have the encouragement as well as the means to participate fully in TVTC. Policy measures that are inclusive of vulnerable people, including women and girls, have been introduced to improve the alignment of skills development with labour market demands (which will, by definition, improve employment opportunities for vulnerable groups). These include: i) better identification and anticipation of labour market skills needs, ii) measures for closing skills gaps, iii) improving youth employability, iv) meeting the skills requirements of the informal sector, v) meeting the skills demands of the rural economy, and vi) providing an appropriate mix of broader competencies alongside specialist skills.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Technical and Vocational Training corporation
Institution Type:   Government Department  
Contact Person:   Abdulrahman Almassan
Title:   Head of quality dept  
Telephone/ Fax:   00966112896337
Institution's / Project's Website:  
Address:   Alwashm St
Postal Code:   7823
City:   Riyadh
State/Province:   Riyadh

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