Overview on future skills
Jim Yong Kim, former Group President of World Bank said that the great challenge is to equip young generation with the skills they will need no matter what future jobs look like. These skills include problem-solving, critical thinking, as well as interpersonal skills like empathy and collaboration.
The UAE has already taken big steps to equip its young generation with the skills required to face future challenges and achieve the core goals of its Vision 2021 and Centennial 2071. The current Fourth Industrial Revolution presents new work opportunities and new unique skills that do not exist today.
According to Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week Future Skills 2030 Report, there are five driving sources which shape the future of jobs and skills in the world. Among these are the technological progress which will open new horizons for non-existing opportunities, especially in the fields of artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, automation and advanced manufacturing, virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), big data and data analysis. Moreover, with the global drive towards sustainability, new types of jobs in alternative energy and waste management are being created. Read more about ADSW Future Skills 2030 Report (PDF, 10 MB).
UAE Green Jobs Programme
In 2019, the UAE issued a report title ‘The UAE Green Jobs Program: Jobs ans Skills for the UAE’s Green Economy Transformation’ (PDF, 5MB). The report sheds light on the current status of the green jobs and relevant policies in the UAE. According to the report, the number of green jobs will rise from 49,520 in 2018 to 83,422 by 2030.
The UAE Advanced Skills Strategy is based on a forward-thinking approach and sets out the national framework aimed at consolidating the concept of life-long learning for citizens and residents of the UAE to achieve the goals of Centennial Plan 2071. It identifies four main categories for future skills: basic skills, competencies, personality traits and specialised skills to provide life-long learners and students with flexible skills applicable along different professions and sectors.
Read more about UAE's Advanced Sciences agenda.
Promising sectors to focus on for future skills
There are various national strategies in the UAE that lay focus on specific areas in which the youth could develop future skills. The UAE National Innovation Strategy focuses on renewable energy, transport, education, health, technology, water and space.
The UAE aspires that science, technology and innovation become the real drivers for sustainable socio-economic development. The UAE determined 24 focus areas for science and technology-based innovation. These areas represent a mix of opportunities and challenges nationally and internationally.
The National Strategy for Advanced Innovation concentrates on:
- future skills
- quality of health
- living and life
- green power
- harnessing technology to serve humankind.
It also aims to develop a type of thinking that encourages experimentation and taking well-thought-out risks to achieve the goals of UAE Centennial 2071.
Meanwhile the National Employment Strategy 2031 aims to empower labour productivity and provide national human resources with the skills required for the labour market by:
- increasing the number of research and development personnel
- promoting entrepreneurship
- promoting lifelong learning programmes
- training on future skills and skill development programmes
- focusing on attracting talent by enhancing knowledge and cultural diversity.
Special programmes for developing future skills
- National Program for Artificial Intelligence
The government launched the UAE National Program for Artificial Intelligence – BRAIN which defines and underlines various initiatives, collaborations, partnerships and breakthroughs in the field of AI. These initiatives include:
- First Bachelor Degree in Artificial Intelligence (AI)
The British University in Dubai launched the first Bachelor Degree in Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the country to educate the young generation to implement AI technologies across all sectors of life. Omar Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, inaugurated the new specialisation offered as part of the computer science programme, which will teach undergraduates related sciences, coding and programming.
- ICT Fund
The UAE's ICT Fund aims to develop the UAE's capabilities in the field of information and communication technology. The ICT Fund seeks to strengthen the technological education of Emiratis at school, undergraduate and graduate levels in partnership with universities and research organisations, as well as individual research projects in various universities.
- Ibtekr platform
The Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre for Government Innovation (MBRCGI) launched its first interactive platform, ‘Ibtekr’ (innovate) which aims to build capabilities of the Arab world and to share the successful government innovation models of the UAE. The platform offers high-quality massive open online courses (MOOCs) for free for all Arabic speakers, and grants students accredited certificates from the MBRCGI.
- The National Internship and Summer Programme ‘Wajihni’
The UAE launched ‘Wajihni’, the National Internship and Summer Programme, which is part of the Emiratisation 360 initiative. The programme is a partnership between Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation and Ministry of Education and universities. It enables students to build their abilities and skills in line with the needs of the labour market and the requirements of their future jobs. Read about Tawteen 360 Students Forum.
- The National Program for Emiratisation (Tawteen)
The Tawteen programme aims to qualify the national human resources according to the demands of the labour market.
- Implementing the Emirati School Model
In the academic year 2017-2018, the UAE implemented the new Emirati School model, which ensures a rich curriculum, excellence in course material and skill and a unified education vision at the national level. The new curriculum focuses on building critical thinking skills, developing innovation and teamwork among students, in addition to utilising information technology in problem solving.
- One Million Arab Coders initiative
In October 2017, H. H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, launched the initiative of ‘One Million Arab Coders'. The initiative seeks to provide free online training to one million young Arabs, equip them with the knowledge of coding and programming and prepare them for job opportunities in a knowledge and ICT-based economy.
- Madrasa - the eLearning platform
The UAE launched Madrasa, a free eLearning platform that provides 5,000 free videos translated in Arabic covering the subjects of general science, math, biology, chemistry and physics. The initiative aims to create a new generation of qualified Arab researchers, scientists, innovators and inventors capable of building knowledge-based societies. The platform also establishes the foundations of self-learning methodology, along with the traditional educational institution.
- The UAE Hackathon
Data has become one of the most important features of the digital era, and the focus on data in terms of its understanding, analysis and employment has become one of the most important highlights in the transformation towards a digital and knowledge economy. The UAE Government organises a nationwide annual Hackathon to encourage data analysis which an integral part of current and future skills.
EmiratesSkills is an initiative of Abu Dhabi Centre for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (ACTVET). It aims to improve the competency levels of the UAE’s youth and prepare them for the future skills and a sustainable knowledge–based economy. Its activities are focused on raising the awareness of career-based technical and vocational education among young Emiratis by organising competitions, events, training programmes and technical career activities.
EmiratesSkills offers students opportunities to participate and compete in national, regional and world skills competitions, and for continuous benchmarking with international skills standards.
Skills competitions also include juniors aged between 12 and 15 years and people of determination (people with special needs).
Learn more about EmiratesSkills and how to join.
- The Emirates Youth Professional School (EYPS) - a crowdsourcing model
In August 2019, the UAE Government launched the Emirates Youth Professional School (EYPS) which aims to provide learners aged between 15 and 35 with vocational skills and career development opportunities to prepare them for the labour market through continuous education. The school is based on a crowdsourcing model that utilises a mix of practical and theoretical learning offered for free by various teachers, institutions, experts and professionals. The school is an initiative of the Federal Youth Authority. It will open in November 2019 to bridge gaps between the conventional academic learning and the rapidly changing labour market.
Read more about the initiatives for youth in the UAE.
In December 2019, a national training platform (aetraining.ae) was launched for UAE nationals. The aim of the platform is to qualify 18,000 individuals for the UAE job market in the next three years and improve their skills in specific sectors which include: customer service, real estate, oil and gas, electrical and mechanical engineering, retail industry, etc.
The duration of the training programme is between three and six months, and the trainees will get a certificate from the training institutes that are approved by Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE).
Emirati job seekers and those who wish to change their career path can access the portal and register to get the training programme they need.
This initiative is sponsored by MoHRE and the Higher Colleges of Technology. It is part of the implementation of the 10 strategic resolutions adopted by the UAE Cabinet in September 2019 to support Emiratisation.
Updated on 23 Feb 2021