The Challenge

A tripartite collaboration between the British Council, the British Embassy in Riyadh and King Saud University, aimed to support this goal and bridge the gap between educational attainment and employment. It also sought to address the skills gap by offering the soft skills required for Saudis, specifically women, to succeed in the workplace and beyond.

Our Solution

Transformation Space were asked to deliver a programme designed to increase confidence and empowerment amongst female graduates to play a more positive role in Gulf societies. King Saud University is the most prestigious university in the Kingdom as it has educated the Saudi Royal family for many years.

Taking into account the challenges and the specific barriers faced by females Transformation Space brought together the best of international best practice in soft skills development for female participants. Working collaboratively with stakeholders and sponsors the Transformation Team developed a considered and contextualised soft skills programme called titled by King Saud University as ‘My Skills Create My Future’

The Outcome

• 200 female graduates were trained
• 92% of participants said they have developed a better understanding of soft skills
• 98% agreed our programme will help them achieve their career aspirations
• 85% agreed that they now have the confidence and skills required to aspire to leadership roles

What King Saud University had to say

“This course helps you understand the various skills that will make your professional and academic career flourish. Hard skills aren't enough - your soft skills need to be as good. Whether it is learning how to negotiate or building confidence to present, it all helps you to get a step further from where you stand. This course provides you with the skills needed to find solutions, it combines identifying your capabilities and builds your capacity to overcome your weaknesses along with developing a range of skills. The highlight for me was to gain a deeper insight into myself. I was able to identify all my weak points and areas for development as well as my strengths. I also enlightened myself on what my value and importance is in the professional area. The instructor helped me to understand the soft skills I had and could develop further during the course. I have started to share the knowledge I gained out of the course and made an impact on my surroundings. I've seen a boost in my confidence after attending the ceremony and meeting all the VIPs on the last day of the course. The Saudi vision of empowering women has been the main highlight for us. Being a woman, I am looking forward in making a change and hope for the best outcomes possible. I want to contribute in roles that will help make my country a solid platform for women to rise on, this more than anything enthuses me and motivates me complete my studies in research field. My studies alone won't help me to achieve all my goals, with the help of the soft skills that I have developed from this course I believe I will be successful in achieving my goals and make a highly valuable contribution to society.”

Alaa Osama Shaikh - Masters in Biochemistry, College of Science, KSU

“I was introduced to the course by a very inspiring woman who is the head of our department, I had a little knowledge about soft skills and why it is important to my professional life. I thought that the course would be a talk and/or discussion of the concept of soft skills, but it was much more than that. The course had so many activities and creative approaches and we were pushed, so gently, to get out of our comfort zone by our trainers. On a personal level, I learned how to speak publicly and be more confident about what I am presenting. On the professional side of it, I learnt a lot about negotiations and effective business writing. I also picked up many tips about how to make a good first impression in interviews. The highlight of the course was having the pleasure of meeting our trainer and to learn, such a lot, from their professional experience. Reading about soft skill is good but having the opportunity to practice soft skill is way better. My Master’s assessment is due soon and I feel more confident about public speaking even in front a small group. I feel empowered and confident about the future of women in Saudi Arabia with the opportunities now given to women to thrive in leadership and so many different fields."

Mueerah Sabaie - Masters student in Leadership and Strategic Management, KSU

“This workshop helped me in many ways. I now know what soft skills are, how to apply and incorporate them in my day to day and work lives. Changed my Idea of leadership and helped open my mind to more possibilities. This was new knowledge to me. I would love for this course to take place again, and maybe expand further and dive deeper in each soft skill and its applications, and I would definitely recommend it. What I did not expect to gain from this workshop and had been a pleasant surprise was the friendship of our trainers and many of the attendees, and I hope to meet them all again soon. Thank you to everyone responsible for this great experience.”

Halima Hamid - Genetics and Histology Master student, King Saud University

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