The gap between what young people are taught and what potential employers require is fuelling regional youth unemployment.
About 20 per cent of the most educated in the UAE population have no jobs, and in some countries such as Saudi Arabia the figure is double that.
“When we talk about the readiness of graduates for the job market, education providers are much more optimistic … than employers and youth,” Dr Mona Mourshed, leader of the Global Education Practice at the management consultants McKinsey, said yesterday.
“Most education institutions are not monitoring job placement traits or understanding what happens to youth after they leave their campus. That means we have a system that is designed to fail.
“Similarly, youth and their families do not get enough information to make decisions on what professions they should go after.”
Dr Naji Al Mahdi, executive director of the National Institute for Vocational Education, said the root of the problem was the government requirement that every job seeker hold a secondary school leaving certificate.
The failure so far of authorities to recognise the value of technical or vocational training diminishes the job prospects of young people not suited to traditional education, Dr Al Mahdi believes.
“Unfortunately, the school certificate is overvalued in the UAE,” he said. “It is built to discourage UAE nationals.”…
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