New initiative to enhance skills for future job market in Arab states

The FutureSkills4All programme aims to provide scholarships for upskilling and reskilling citisens throughout the Arab states
UNDP and MBRF have partnered with Coursera to launch FutureSkills4All initiative to address the needs of a fast-changing workforce 

Dubai, Sept 27, 2023: The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation (MBRF) have joined hands with online learning platform, Coursera to introduce the innovative FutureSkills4All initiative.  

The programme aims to provide scholarships for upskilling and reskilling citizens throughout the Arab states, equipping them with the essential skills needed for future employment opportunities that will drive economic growth across the region. 

The one-year pilot programme aims to provide thousands of people with the opportunity to develop in-demand and career-relevant skills and create a more flexible and resilient workforce. In its initial phase, it will be available to 5,500 Arab nationals in nine countries, including Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and the United Arab Emirates.  

The programme will be open to recent graduates, entrepreneurs, and job seekers, with a focus on people in underserved and vulnerable communities. It also aims to help micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, and public institutions improve their employees’ skills. 

“The FutureSkills4All initiative that we are launching will shape a future where everyone has equal and easy access to quality continuing education and skills development,” says Abdallah Al Dardari, Assistant Secretary-General, Assistant Administrator and Director of the Regional Bureau for Arab States at UNDP.  

“We are confident that this initiative will pave the way for thousands of people to seize the opportunities of tomorrow and boost our pursuit of the vision of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the Arab States region,” he adds. The skills required in today’s job market are changing faster than ever before, largely due to accelerated digital transformation and new technologies. Recent studies show that more than 60 per cent of workers will need retraining by 2027. Only half of those workers currently have access to adequate training opportunities.  

“Partnerships like these reflect the United Arab Emirates’ vision of progress and innovation, empowering individuals with the knowledge and skills they need for the future. Together, we aim to foster an environment where every individual can thrive in the digital age,” says Jamal Bin Huwaireb, CEO of MBRF.  

“This initiative will improve employability for jobseekers, help employers and entrepreneurs stay competitive, and drive economic prosperity across the region,” says Jeff Maggioncalda, CEO of Coursera. 

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