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Upskilling 25,000 UAE Youths by 2025

by Eddie Rayner

The Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education (AGFE) has launched ‘Nomu’, a multi-sector partnership initiative in collaboration with University Leadership Council (ULC) to empower 25,000 Emirati youths by 2025. The initiative was announced during the Global Goals Week held at Expo 2020 Dubai and will offer high-quality learning opportunities that are tied to UAE priority sectors in the nation’s sustainability strategy.

The initiative is part of AGFE’s commitment to the Global Council membership on Sustainable Development Goals, a UAE Government initiative that is under the umbrella and supervision of the UAE National Committee on Sustainable Development Goals and headed by Her Excellency Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Chairwomen of the National Committee on SDGs.

Meaning ‘growth’ in Arabic, Nomu will focus on preparing youth with the information, skills and tools needed for success in a digital, knowledge-based economy, as well as help youth develop the 10 competencies identified by World Economic Forum (WEF) to succeed in the future workplace. To compete in the global labour market for the jobs of tomorrow, Emirati youth will be better equipped through Nomu which will ensure that they stay ahead of the skills curve. With the UAE continuing to strengthen its foundations to rise as a global economic powerhouse, the nation’s youth are going to play a pivotal role in the future growth ambitions of the country, especially in emerging sectors that have become an incubator for talent, influencing the future economy. This initiative aims to meet the growing needs of the future labour market, focusing on identifying priority industries and recruitment pipelines.

Nomu will contribute towards the UAE government-led ‘Projects of the 50’ agenda to boost its global competitiveness and supply it with young Emirati talents. In so doing, the Nomu initiative will also contribute to advancing the implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs). It will support the federal government’s efforts in increasing awareness, building partnerships, and providing youth with the knowledge, experience, and skills necessary to participate effectively in achieving global sustainable development goals and build a better and sustainable future.

Nomu will upskill and reskill 25,000 Emirati youth by 2025 to meet the demands of the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Under the Nomu initiative, youth will benefit from workplace experience education models where they would get the chance to work in an industry related to their field alongside their academic education. The ground-breaking programme will see the private sector and universities work together by applying real-world learning, keeping up with technological skills and solving workforce challenges.

AGFE will focus on harmonising the ecosystem with regard to segmenting the target groups, providing them differential training, and connecting them to the market. 25,000 selected Emirati youngsters will be exposed to a wide range of industry-certified courses, which will equip them with the skills that are in high demand by employers and that are needed to help them thrive and have a competitive advantage to secure employment.

Providing market-driven and industry-led future-facing educational opportunities, AGFE seeks to create learning pathways for young people who are entering the job market for the first time, training opportunities for those currently employed but lacking critical digital skills, and reskilling opportunities for those who are at risk of losing their job due to automation.

Underlying the significance of this initiative, His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, UAE Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence and Chairman of the University Leadership Council said, “Nomu reflects the mandate of the University Leadership Council to promote collaborative work across education, to enhance mutually beneficial dialogues amongst leading institutions of higher learning, promote collaborative industry and government sectors towards the common goals of meeting the requirements of the industry and the sustainable economy, as well as initiate and support global partnership in the strategic axes of development for a sustainable future. We are proud of the work that the Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education has been doing. We are therefore particularly pleased to join in the efforts to support national youth development for the country’s ceaseless development.

Nomu, meaning ‘growth’, is in line with the goals of the ‘Projects of the 50’ agenda and will support UAE citizens to remain competitive and meet the growing needs of the future labour market

Explaining the motivation behind this new initiative, His Excellency Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, Chairman of AGFE said, “It is our collective responsibility to make sure that Emirati talent continues to be globally competitive as we shift our efforts to meet the demands of the fourth industrial revolution. The UAE serves as a model on how the private sector helps to serve society and achieve sustainability with innovation and strategic partnerships. We can only achieve this goal when the private sector is part of the solution investing in our youth and working towards a balanced national economy.”

“We are excited to see the energy and enthusiasm that AGFE has demonstrated since joining the Global Councils on SDGs,” noted His Excellency Abdulla Nasser Lootah, Vice Chairman of the UAE National Committee on SDG. “Meaningful and impactful partnerships and collaboration with the private sector and the society in the UAE is at the heart of our engagement strategy to fulfil the SDGs. Initiatives like Nomu can definitely accelerate our national efforts to become a global best practice in driving sustainable projects in Education and all other sectors”

Underlining the increasing need for large-scale, informed, and collaborative action for significant reskilling and upskilling of the workforce of tomorrow in the UAE, Dr Sonia Ben Jaafar, the CEO of AGFE and Chairperson to Global Councils on Sustainable Development Goals, said: “The importance of harmonising a talent ecosystem that facilitates industry actors to be a part of the solution is critical for UAE youth to find their way to a sustainable future. At AGFE, we have showcased a continued commitment to strategic partnerships with public and private sector actors for the benefit of youth development. Nomu will serve as a scalable model where Emirati youth will find industry actors who value them as top talent for the sustainable development of the UAE and internationally.”