Vocational education experts call for workforce development plan unique to UAE
- United Arab Emirates: Wednesday, November 14 - 2012 at 12:23
- PRESS RELEASE
Human resources and industry experts debated the state of vocational education and its merits vis-à-vis qualifications obtained at university at Dubai Knowledge Village's Breakfast Club event.
Craig Sherrin, Chief Executive Officer, Emirates Driving Company, said, "The UAE needs to create its own vocational education system. It cannot simply import and implement the practices of another country, but needs to look around the world for inspiration in order to create its system."
Tony Palladino, Principal Consultant at Univex Consultancy, added, "The difference between professional qualifications and vocational education is contextual. That is to say that the requirements of the workforce are unique to the country in question."
A workforce development system that is unique to the UAE would acknowledge the country's idiosyncracies and benefit the entire working population.
Essa Al Mulla, Executive Director, Emirates National Development Programme (ENDP), concluded, "Workforce development is not just for Emiratis, it's for all people living in the UAE. We need people to stay and work here in our services industry, which is huge."
The panel, which was moderated by Dawn Metcalfe, Moderator and Managing Director at Performance Development Services, also agreed that the vast majority of the population should have vocational education with approximately 20% holding professional qualifications. Australia was given as an example of this kind of split in qualifications. This being the case, they suggested that the education sector should be looking to industry to determine how best to meet their needs.
Examples were given of companies and sectors which are already doing this and benefiting from vocational training schemes in place in the UAE. Panellist Catherine Kennedy, Head of Business Vocational Studies at Emirates Aviation College, highlighted their success with its training programmes and workplace schemes, which are designed to equip emirati's with skills required to do their job from day one.
Essa Al Mulla cited the example of the retail sector as one where vocational education had provided a huge boost to the employment of nationals after training programmes were designed specifically for the market's needs. While five to ten years ago, very few nationals would be found working in the retail sector, now the number is more than 5,000.
The biannual Breakfast Club is part of a series of networking events organised by Dubai Knowledge Village (DKV) to bring together top professionals in the HR sector. DKV has over 450 Business Partners who specialise in Human Resource Management, Consultancy, Training and Personal Development programmes as well as Vocational Training.
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