Saudi Aramco, in association with nine local and international organizations, has established the National Power Academy (NPA) to provide the local and regional markets with highly qualified staff.
Located in Dammam, the academy will initially receive 250 trainees in 2018, gradually increasing to 1,200. Covering 18,000 sq m, the area includes workshops, plants, classrooms, and administrative and operational facilities that provide a secure and inspiring educational environment.
The NPA’s vision is to be a world leader in the areas of vocational training and education to serve the national energy sector in Saudi Arabia.
NPA will provide job opportunities for a qualified national workforce, and invest in the national human capital to achieve an economic balance in the various business sectors and professions within the power industry.
A letter of intent was signed in 2014 by academic institutions and companies to start the establishment of the academy. King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM), the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC), Saudi Electricity Company (SEC), and Saudi Aramco signed the letter of intent.
NPA is a unique model on the regional and local levels. It is a non-profit organization that supports the ambitions of future generations. It is also led by the industry, for the industry. It will help meet the needs of the labour market and offer targeted training programmes to meet the current and future needs of the energy sector. Most importantly, it will increase the level of national employment through its unique model, which involves companies that sponsor trainees through training ending with employment.
Additionally, NPA offers unique programmes in various disciplines required by employers and covers a wide range of technical requirements. These include newly developed training programmes that keep abreast with the needs of this sector and its new specializations, such as smart grids, energy efficiency, renewable energy, and nuclear energy.
NPA endeavours to provide innovative and new training methods through training on equipment provided by partners, world suppliers, and manufacturers to mimic the real business world. Training is also based on simulation and virtual reality of the energy sector’s operations to prepare trainees to join the workforce right after graduation.
The academy adopts a system requiring students to present applied and development research projects as graduation projects, and urges students to come up with ideas and projects that could make a substantial difference in the energy sector. Moreover, the academy takes pride in its unique training model that is based on sponsorship and post-training employment.
The NPA offers three training programmes that are aligned with the needs of the local market. One of them is a diploma programme for general secondary school students who are nominated by energy companies. It is a two-year theoretical and practical training programme where students receive academic and technical training.
The academy also offers 3- to 12-month training programme for professionals, such as electric and mechanical engineers who wish to pursue further education and receive specific training. This is in addition to short-term programmes that offer three- to five-day courses in specific programmes and disciplines for technicians, engineers and supervisory and management personnel who work in the energy field.