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The British Council has produced a white paper with research carried out amongst business leaders and stakeholders in the UAE which aimed to identify the Future Skills employers are looking for. Proficiency in STEM related subjects, good English language skills and portable skills that can transcend one industry to another, are all a priority. So too is a dialogue between employers and education systems to share expectations and shape policies that generate a growing pool of Emirati talent.
Throughout its relatively short history as one nation, the United Arab Emirates has become accustomed to exceeding ambitious milestones that it sets for itself. Looking back over nearly 50 years of social and economic development in the Emirates, the country has grown in size, prosperity and global recognition. Its 50th anniversary in 2021 will also see it mark the conclusion of UAE Vision 2021, an ambitious policy that seeks to position and enable the UAE’s long term economic and social development beyond the age of oil revenues.
A core component of this vision is the need to create a globally competitive workforce, that is future ready and equipped with the skills of the future. As the discussion continues about how best to equip the UAE’s youth to prepare for the future global economy, the British Council is
proud to have produced a whitepaper as our contribution to that discussion. Equipping young people with the educational foundation and skills necessary to prosper in the future is therefore one of the biggest challenges the nation faces. We have looked at the ‘Future Skills’ the nation will need to ensure continued prosperity and diversification. The conclusions of the paper offer some useful indications of the need for a whole chain of stakeholders to be collaborating for success. As the UK’s international organization for educational and cultural relations, we are committed to creating opportunities for young people worldwide, be it through skills development, language learning or cultural and educational exchange. As part of this commitment, we have created the paper to explore current perceptions and aspirations among a broad group of stakeholders, particularly employers. The approach offers some guidance on the future skills employers want the educational system to deliver and underlines the value of robust testing methods. Through this study, it is clear that the opportunity exists to match the needs of employers with modern-day curricula, through conventional education and vocational methods. In fact, one of the biggest opportunities the paper reveals is the need for employers to engage in a regular and open dialogue with educational authorities and institutions. Comments from CEOs of major companies suggest that this needs to be focused on encouraging the early adoption of skills that provide a gateway to learning STEM subjects. It also suggests that proficiency in multiple languages, including English, equips young minds with the capacity to flourish in these subjects together with the need for appropriate teacher training.
Supporting Future Skills requires a holistic and collaborative approach to educational reform, which is a common thread around the world. As the UAE sets about refining its future education policies, our paper aims to make an informed and valuable contribution towards this dialogue.
You can download the white paper here.
Wednesday, 28 October 2020:
9am - 4pm
Thursday, 29 October 2020:
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Friday, 30 October 2020:
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