Kuwait-based retail giant Alshaya International Trading Co has announced plans to open a new training academy in Jeddah later this year.
The move follows the success of a similar academy in Riyadh, the company said, adding that it also has plans to open a third training centre in Dammam next year.
"The expansion plans will enhance Alshaya's ability to introduce more young women to the skills required for a career in retail and are underpinned by the recent renewal of Alshaya's funding partnership with the Human Resources Development Fund," Alshaya said in a statement.
The Academy expansion plan follows on from pledges to recruit, train and develop national talent, which were made by Alshaya's executive chairman, Mohammed Alshaya, at the Jeddah Economic Forum in March.
Each Retail Academy will provide real-world skills and retail sector experience to young nationals across the kingdom, actively supporting the Government's nationalisation goals.
Alshaya said 400 people have already graduated from its Riyadh Retail Academy and is committed to train 8,000young people over five years.
Successful graduates have the guarantee of a job within the company's portfolio of international retail brands, a statement said.
Alshaya operates over 600 stores in Saudi Arabia and has ambitious growth and job creation plans across the country.
Today, around 2,500 of its 5,800 employees are already Saudi nationals which has seen the company earn Nitaqat platinum status from the government for its commitment to nationalisation.
The company added that from a zero base in 2012, Alshaya has made great progress in creating roles for women and now employs over 1,600 women across its business in the kingdom.
"The Alshaya Retail Academy is a great example of how government and the private sector can successfully work together", said Alshaya. "In some areas of the kingdom, our nationalisation rates are as high as 80 percent, meaning four out of five of our employees are nationals. I see no reason why we should not raise these figures still further."
Alshaya is a franchise operator for over 70 of the world's most recognised retail brands, including Starbucks, H&M, Mothercare, Debenhams, American Eagle Outfitters, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids and Boots.