MBRF & UNDP announce opening of registrations for ‘FutureSkills4All’ initiative

The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation (MBRF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have opened the registrations for the ‘FutureSkills4All’ initiative as part of the ‘Knowledge Project.’ In collaboration with Coursera, one of the leading global online education platforms, this groundbreaking initiative was launched for individuals seeking to enhance their skills. The program aims to bring about a significant positive impact on the lives of numerous citizens in the Arab region by elevating their abilities, fostering the acquisition of new skills, and ultimately preparing them for future employment opportunities, which will be a driver for sustainable economic growth across the region.

The pioneering initiative leverages the concept of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) to enhance participants’ skills, empowering them to create better employment opportunities and enhance their personal, digital, and functional skills. The aim is to equip individuals with the versatility needed to meet the evolving demands of the current and future job market. The initiative spans nine Arab countries: the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia.

In its initial phase, the initiative strives to engage 6,000 learners from Arab countries, positioning them as leaders in the skills revolution. The long-term vision is to extend this transformative opportunity to one million learners in the coming years. To ensure that it reaches a wide segment of learners, programs and courses are offered in Arabic, English, and French. Additionally, the initiative provides exclusive access to training programs curated by leading companies, including Google, Meta, and IBM. Catering to a diverse audience, the programs address the needs of various individuals, ranging from young enthusiasts like recent graduates and job seekers to seasoned professionals navigating technological changes. This inclusive approach extends to those employed in companies active in technical education and training.

His Excellency Jamal Bin Huwaireb, CEO of the MBRF, said, “We are delighted to announce the opening of registrations for the ‘FutureSkills4All’ initiative, which aligns with our commitment to fostering lifelong learning. This initiative holds great significance as it provides training opportunities that enhance participants’ competitiveness and adaptability in a rapidly evolving world. It reflects our belief in the importance of staying prepared to navigate ongoing changes by refining existing skills and acquiring new ones to achieve sustainable development goals. This step is crucial at a time when the global job market is undergoing successive transformations, particularly with the unprecedented growth and development of artificial intelligence.”

H.E. added: “The initiative aims to equip the Arab region with the necessary skills to enhance professional prospects and seize opportunities in this dynamic landscape. Our collaboration reflects the UAE’s vision of advancing progress and innovation, promoting lifelong learning, and empowering individuals with knowledge and skills to enhance their readiness for the future. It further underscores the UAE’s commitment to supporting development in the Arab region, fostering cooperation, and contributing to global knowledge-sharing networks. We eagerly anticipate strengthening our cooperation with UNDP and Coursera, further laying the foundations for an environment that ensures success for all in the era of digitization.”

Dr. Hany Torky, Senior Technical Adviser and Director of the Knowledge Project at UNDP, said, “The ‘FutureSkills4All’ initiative stands as a distinctive opportunity for the Arab youth to cultivate their skills and stay updated on global transitions in education and skill development. In the face of profound changes in the job market propelled by technological advancements and the influence of artificial intelligence, this initiative emerges as a beacon of hope, fostering skill development and empowering individuals to confront the challenges arising from these transformations. At the UNDP, we recognize the pivotal role of the youth as drivers of regional development. We extend an invitation for them to actively participate in and benefit from this initiative, which is designed to offer diverse pathways and skills, further promoting access and inclusiveness without financial barriers.”

Dr. Torky added, “I commend the MBRF for its unwavering commitment to supporting education, disseminating knowledge, and fostering skill development in the region. Our resolute commitment to supporting this initiative is aligned with advancing sustainable development goals and honing the skills of individuals to meet the evolving needs of the job market.”

Aligning its curricula with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), this holds significant importance amidst the rapid changes propelled by technological advancements like artificial intelligence. It is projected that within the next five years, 44 percent of workers’ fundamental skills will evolve. By 2027, an estimated 60 percent of workers worldwide will need formal training to meet the evolving demands of jobs.

The trajectory of automation signals potential changes in skills or occupational transformations for approximately 14 percent (375 million) of the global workforce by 2030. Notably, the list of fastest-growing skills between 2023 and 2027 encompasses creative and analytical thinking, alongside technical competencies such as artificial intelligence and big data literacy.

The ‘FutureSkills4All’ initiative presents diverse avenues encompassing personal skills, digital proficiency, career readiness, entrepreneurship, and specialized training for specific job roles. A key advantage of this initiative lies in its commitment to fostering access to knowledge and inclusivity, transcending barriers of gender, personal abilities, or economic constraints. By offering knowledge and skills to qualified learners at no cost, the program ensures the accessibility of knowledge for all.

The momentum of this initiative is driven by the prevalent gap in the Arab region between educational outcomes and job prospects, with nearly half of the workforce lacking the necessary skills for their roles. Addressing this challenge necessitates substantial investments in training, especially considering the limited number of youths currently benefiting from such opportunities.

Individuals can submit their applications at www.knowledge4all.org to be a part of this initiative. Additionally, enterprises and companies can nominate suitable candidates to join the program through the same website.

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