Saudi centre bags CSR award for Samsung
$100 million commitment to Saudi's young engineers earns plaudits
Samsung Engineering scooped the 2011 Oil & Gas Middle East Corporate Social Responsibility Award this year with a nomination that impressed the judges for its comprehensiveness and commitment, with one judge remarking that “the company’s dedication to addressing every aspect of life and work for their community is commendable.”
Samsung Engineering’s Naffora Techno Valley facility in Saudi Arabia wowed the judges for the scale and depth of offering in training young Saudis to become the next generation of engineers.
Opening in May this year, the facility offers comprehensive recruitment, training and education for Saudis, as well as first-class recreation facilities and a health and safety training centre.
“The facility cost $100 million, so it was not a decision we took lightly,” Seung C Lee, General Manager, Middle East and North Africa, told Oil & Gas Middle East. “However, Corporate Social Responsibility is one of the core values of Samsung, and so it was very important that we wanted to contribute something locally. Without close local support, you cannot win.”
Mr Seung is also keen to emphasise that the facility delivers serious results. “When we started the program in May we had 180 Saudi engineers in our local workforce,” he explains. “We now have 250. Once Saudis graduate from our program they can choose where in the business they want to work, giving then opportunities.”
More generally, Mr Seung puts Samsung’s success in the region down to preparation, executing, and capacity.
“Before we expanded in the GCC in 2000 we researched carefully, which helped us to deliver our first projects ahead of time,” says Seung. “National Oil Companies noticed this and so we built up a track record. We can also take on large projects, as at 7,700 engineers we have more than two and a half times more engineers than any other South Korean contractor. Even with $14 billion of projects in this region, we still have capacity to do more.”