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NCB Introduces IT Academy Program

Thursday, 20 December, 2012
​As part of a continuous focus on supporting Saudization efforts, the National Commercial Bank announced the launch of a new specialized training program under the name “Information Technology Academy Program”, or ITAP. The program aims at attracting young Saudi talents in the IT field and preparing them to undertake work responsibilities in financial IT services.​

Designed in collaboration with Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Tamkeen, the program extends over a period of 23 weeks of extensive training, during which participants are trained in a wide spectrum of technical and non-technical skills that bridge the gap between academic education and business practice and pave the way for the smooth integration of fresh talents in the business-as-usual work life of the IT division in NCB.

Commenting on the graduation of the first ITAP class, Saud Sabban, Executive Vice President and Head of the Human Resources division stated that “ITAP is yet another manifestation of the importance that NCB places on developing and enabling national talents in all disciplines and fields of work in the Bank, of which Information Technology is considered the backbone in today’s modern financial services industry.”

He added “the program translates the Bank’s vision in supporting Saudization, and is considered a very important investment in the Services Sector’s people development strategy. It is a constituent part of an overarching development plan that aims at helping our Services Sector secure supply of talents and resources needed for our growth now and in the future, while continuing to support NCB’s Saudization rates. This is done by identifying and recruiting highly qualified talents of young Saudi men and women, who are then prepared and enabled to contribute effectively to our leading position and competitiveness.”

Saleh Saleh, Head of ITAP and IT Portfolio Management Office in NCB, said in his turn that “Information Technology is a very dynamic and demanding field of work, and the demand on national talents in this field is increasing exponentially. ITAP program was designed with this mind to help us attract the best local talents over the coming years, retain them, empower them and help them realize their potential, and so demonstrate the ability of our national human resources to perform competently at the highest standards in this field.”

ITAP comprises three main training phases that together employ a combination of active and proactive learning techniques. The first phase extends over 16 weeks of technical training provided by HP, followed by 3 weeks of training on necessary soft skills in phase two, and 4 weeks of actual on-the-job training after that in the third and final stage during which trainees are classified and prepared to join NCB as full time employees, based on their areas of competencies and interest, in four IT career tracks; these are: IT Services, IT Development, IT Risk Management & IT Project Management.

The first class of ITAP graduates included 21 young Saudi men and women who hold Bachelors and Masters degrees in the fields of Computer Science, Information Systems, Computer Engineering, MIS, and Information Technology, from recognized local and international universities.

The selection process of candidates for ITAP is done in the context of attracting the best and most qualified Saudi graduates with outstanding academic track records, and following a rigorous filtering process that ensures all participants are capable of comprehending and completing the program successfully.

The program is planned to take place again in 2013, and the Bank is currently assessing the possibility of organizing the training abroad in cooperation with a strategic partner and one of the world’s leading IT services providers.​​