UAE: 8 in 10 residents feel education system must align with skills needed for future jobs

Education institutions need to offer a better return on investment for both students and employers, they add


Nasreen Abdulla

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Published: Thu 15 Dec 2022, 3:38 PM

Last updated: Thu 15 Dec 2022, 6:39 PM

Eight out of 10 UAE residents believe the education system needs to evolve in line with the labour market trends, according to research by a leading global management consulting firm.

Experts at Kearney Middle East note that technology-driven disruption is changing the labour market landscape, leading to job displacement and the creation of new types of jobs. In fact, 150 million new technology-related jobs are forecasted to enter the market in the next five years, highlighting a pressing need for education systems to align with the skills needed for future jobs, globally.

“By 2035, various traditional occupations and sectors may be displaced by technological disruption. This is especially true in emerging markets, where digital transformation is at the core of economic diversification and development", said Marco Vasconi, partner at Kearney Middle East.

"Education has been a key pillar of national transformation initiatives in the UAE over the past five decades, with human capital being recognised as a key driver of the country’s development. This has once again been reinforced and prioritised as part of the ‘We The UAE 2031’ vision launched in November.`'

Meanwhile, employers expect that the talent emerging from education institutions will be “plug and play,” offering an immediate contribution to their businesses. Education institutions need to offer a better return on investment for both students and employers. In line with this, 76 per cent of those surveyed cite that the education system should focus more on employability.

The majority, 76 per cent, believe continuous education is key for their career development and that, without continuous upskilling and reskilling, 73 per cent claim that they would not be as successful at their job.

According to Vasconi, this represents an opportunity and a challenge for all stakeholders.

“There are several considerations that need to be made. At an individual level, mindsets need to change. Continuous education every 5 to 10 years needs to be considered to ensure that professionals update their skills and build resilience in the job market. Equally, employers must invest significant resources into training and professional development, as human capital will continue to be a key driver for growth,” Vasconi underlined.

“Education institutions need to offer programmes that are shorter, skills focused, and aligned with labour market needs, producing graduates who have high employability potential. And finally, public institutions need to focus on creating the conditions and regulatory frameworks that promote investment into upskilling and reskilling,” he added.


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