Experts at Dubai Knowledge Village Breakfast Club debate on future of vocational education in region
- United Arab Emirates: Thursday, May 17 - 2012 at 09:20
- PRESS RELEASE
Vocational education is integral to the development of the region. Countries such as Singapore, Finland and Australia offer outstanding case studies of its impact on economic growth. It is, therefore, imperative for industry to continue regarding vocational training with a positive outlook, according to Richard Barrett, Director, Consulting, Deloitte.
Barrett's comments came during a panel discussion titled 'Is there a Future for Vocational Education in the Region?'. The event was organized by Dubai Knowledge Village (DKV), a member of TECOM Investments' Education Cluster and the region's premier destination for human resources management as part of the DKV Breakfast Club, a biannual networking event for decision makers.
Moderated by Eithne Treanor, CNBC, Special Correspondent, the discussion also included speakers Dr Naji Al Mahdi, Executive Director, National Institute for Vocational Education; Dr Howard Reed, Director, Dubai Women's College and Senior Director, Higher Colleges of Technology, and Dr Abdullatif Al Shamsi, Director-General, Institute of Applied Technology.
Defining the meaning of vocational education in the UAE, Dr Howard Reed said, "Vocational education includes professional programmes such as business and law, technical courses such as IT, and services, especially health services. Once we deviate too far from these areas, the demand for 'vocational education' among Emiratis will probably remain small. Here, stakeholders in key industry segments are faced with the question about why Emiratis do not join the private sector when it is said to provide the majority of new jobs. Furthermore, policy makers need to identify what would motivate Emiratis to take up occupation in the private sector in the professional, technical and service industries."
Dr Naji Al Mahdi said, "There has to be a future for vocational education in the region. Achievement in vocational training programmes leads to rewarding jobs and successful careers. The skills required for employability may vary from country to country. For instance, the UAE, Kuwait, and Qatar demand white-collar skills while blue-collar skills are needed in Bahrain, Oman and Saudi Arabia. However, whatever the skill level, vocational education will play an increasingly pivotal role in helping young nationals meet the challenges of the workplace."
The DKV Breakfast Club events focus on current business-related issues in the context of global best practices to help companies run more efficient operations. The participation of an increasing number of decision makers, government officials and HR professionals serves as a testimony to the success of the DKV Breakfast Club initiative.
Established in 2003, Dubai Knowledge Village is home to over 450 professional centres specialized in HR development, professional testing, as well as management training and consultancy services.
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