Zayed University & Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education urge young Emiratis to boost digital skills for jobs of the future

14 Jul 2022

Over 2,500 Emirati students have enrolled in online programs to equip them better for the workplace, Zayed University and the Al Ghurair Foundation for Education announced as they marked World Skills Day. The two entities celebrated the achievement, after marking the second anniversary of their successful partnership. Their collaboration followed the signing of their Memorandum of Understanding in 2020 which aimed to help young people with their education and early employment journeys.

Today they confirmed Zayed University students are now able to enrol in the Foundation’s TechUp platform after the recent expansion of their partnership. The two organisations had initially focused on the award-winning Al Ghurair Young Thinkers Program, a breakthrough online education and career readiness platform.

TechUp , powered by Udacity, is a new pathway project under the Foundation’s NOMU initiative designed to support foundational and practitioner-level digital literacy skill development. TechUp is dedicated to training Emirati youth in diverse levels of digital fluency and in-demand skills enabling them to become the UAE’s future leaders and entrepreneurs across the nation’s thriving tech sector. A 2020 survey by PwC of CEOs in the Middle East found that 80% of respondents believed that the availability of key digital skills is a business threat. By 2030, it is estimated that the global need for advanced IT and programming skills could grow by as much as 90%.

Over the last year, Zayed University has sharpened its focus on equipping students with the tools to ensure their success in the world of work, delivering the soft skills and the creative talents that are necessary in this century of challenge and change.

Speaking on World Youth Skills Day, Zayed University’s Provost and Chief Academic Officer, Professor Clayton MacKenzie said: “Our partnership with the Al Ghurair Foundation for Education is a key component of Zayed University’s commitment to creating graduates who are fit and ready for the future. We are all increasingly aware of the importance of digital skills across the board. I encourage Zayed University students to take the opportunity to participate in programs such as TechUp, and for all young Emiratis to focus on their digital literacy. The demand for digital skills will continue to grow exponentially in the decades ahead.”

Dr Sonia Ben Jafaar, Chief Executive of the Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education said: “The synergy between our two organisations means that the relationship between Zayed University and the Foundation continues to go from strength to strength. Despite the global challenges of the past few years, we have been able to maintain our focus on upskilling young Emiratis and this will only accelerate now through our TechUp initiative. In less than 4 months, since its launch across the UAE, we enrolled over 2,000 youth eager to learn, and 215 have earned their first certificate. The faculty and staff at Zayed University are deeply committed to ensuring their students have the best possible education, and they share our belief in enabling young Emiratis to focus on upskilling their technology skills alongside their degree programs.”