UAE: New education initiative aims to tackle youth unemployment

The programme will target 1,000 university students, including people of determination


Nandini Sircar

Published: Tue 5 Jul 2022, 6:48 PM

A new education initiative is aiming to tackle youth unemployment in the UAE and in the larger MENA region.

Titled Next Level, the youth training programme will target more than 1,000 university students and fresh graduates.

The programme, which is a partnership between L’Oreal Middle East and Nestle, will target 50 universities in the MENA region.

Jean-Dominique De Ravignan, Human Resources Director at L’Oréal Middle East, said, “The newly launched Emirati graduate development programme ‘L’Oréal Lakom’ has been specially designed for UAE nationals to unleash their potential. We have always been committed to building rigorous training programs that support the growth-journey of employees across all levels. They include the Graduate Trainee, a six to 12 months full-time programme for fresh graduates and ideally candidates up to two years of experience. Then there is a Management Trainee, a 12-24 months full-time rotational programme, designed to develop future business leaders.”

A total of 17 universities in the UAE have participated in the “NXL programme” including American University of Dubai, American University of Sharjah, University of Dubai, Ajman University, University of Wollongong, Zayed University, HULT University, Canadian University in Dubai, NYU in Abu Dhabi, Sorbonne, University of Sharjah, American University in the Emirates, MiddleSex University, RIT, Khalifa University, Heriot-Watt University and IMT Business School.

Ravignan highlights, “we recognized that there is a large amount of untapped talent and potential while the employment opportunities remain scarce for young workers. This can be supported by the insight that youth unemployment in the region is almost twice as high as the world average and has grown 2.5 times faster than the world average between 2010 and 2021. Against this backdrop, we wanted to extend the efforts of our longstanding programme - L’Oréal for Youth programme as part of L’Oréal for the Future, to the region.”

He adds, “In the UAE, we are proud to claim that 60 per cent of our recruits in the last two years were under 30, and we will continue to dedicate our efforts to place the youth at the center of our recruitment strategy. We believe that training more than 1,000 university students per edition across the wider MENA region will equip students and fresh graduates with competitive skills that will position them as attractive candidates in the job market. They can look forward to five key learning modules including digitalization, innovation and entrepreneurship, financial analytics, personal branding, and Creating Shared Value. Beyond just empowering these students with the right employability skills to thrive, the program will also help them find job opportunities to accelerate their careers.”

Ravignan reiterates when the programme was developed the focus was to “achieve optimal inclusivity.”

“In ‘NXL’ we didn’t want to exclude any members to achieve our overarching aim of providing equal opportunities for all, including Emiratis and people of determination. As such, the program is very inclusive by design and doesn’t need to be customised to a certain group, as it is open and accessible to everyone”, he adds.


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