Rubu’ Qarn Foundation discusses strengthening youth capacities during ‘Investing in the Future’ Conference

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Rubu‘ Qarn Foundation for Creating Leaders and Innovators, chaired by Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of His Highness Ruler of Sharjah, held a session titled ‘The Future of Youth Employment – Challenges and Recommendations’, on the second day of the 3rd edition of ‘Investing in the Future’ Conference, in the presence of members of Sharjah Youth Parliament and Sharjah Children Shura Council.

Themed Youth – Crisis Challenges and Development Opportunities’, the 2-day conference is organised by The Big Heart Foundation (TBHF), the Sharjah-based global humanitarian charity dedicated to support and help refugees and people in need across the world, and took place on 24-25 October at Al Jawaher Reception & Convention Centre, Sharjah.

The session was attended by DrHamid Majul Al Nuaimi, Chancellor of the University of Sharjah (UoS), HE Ayman Othman Al BaroutSecretary General of the Arab Children’s Parliament (ACP), Maysoon Saif Al Nuaimi, Academic Advisor at the Ministry of Education, HE Abdullah Ibrahim Al Zaabi, Director of Branches Affairs Department – Department of Human Resources Department, and HE Abdullah Yousif Al Ali, Head of Development system, Directorate of Human Resources, Sharjah.

Moderated by Mohamed Al Ali, programs executive at Sharjah for Capability Development (SCD), the session is the first consultative session that brings together Sharjah Children  Shura Council and  Sharjah Youth Parliment to discuss the future of children and youth employment.

The session was attended by children and youth from entities of Rubu‘ Qarn Foundation’ for Creating leaders and Innovators, including Sharjah Children, Sharjah Youth, Sajaya Young Ladies of Sharjah, and Sharjah for Capability Development (SCD).

Connecting academic programs and disciplines to the labor market’s demands

Attendees identified challenges of youth employment in the future. It also focused on traditional theoretical learning as opposed to a more practical learning required in labour markets. Subsequently, it highlighted the reluctance of the people of this region in introducing vocational skills that are often needed in the job market. Other challenges included the disappearance of some jobs due to technological advances.

To overcome these challenges, the session showcased practical solutions. It discussed creating new sectors that’ll enable employment generation. Additionally, developing  students’ skills was also high on the agenda. Another need that emerged from this discussion was to encourage the youth to establish businesses based on the UAE market demands. Combating regular office monotony and strict industry schedules, participants also suggested the need for flexible working hours and work from home options.

Another intervention was the role and impact of technology in today’s era. While the UAE government continues to constantly create a balance between human workforce and the advent of new technologies, civic organisations should aim to forge more partnerships in order to promote vocational education.

Aisha bint Khaled Al Qasimi, member of the Board of Trustees, Rubu‘ Qarn Foundation’ for Creating leaders and Innovators, said: “The consultative sessions between Sharjah Children & Youth parliament aim to explore ways to strengthen their capabilities, support their ideas and suggestions, and encourage their participation in parliamentary experience. Other goals include boosting their effective contribution to build a future that meet their needs through a consultative council, which provides them with a platform to play a key role in shaping the future of our nation and drive its development.”

The Chancellor of the University of Sharjah praised the topics discussed during the session and the ideas offered by children and youth. He noted that the university connects its disciplines to the labor market’s demands and offers 101 programs, including 35 Master’s and PhD programs.

He stressed that the university is keen to keep abreast with the rapid developments in various technological fields and partner with the world’s prestigious universities. He noted that the university is developing a strategy for the next five years to include the latest scientific technologies within its disciplines and academic programs.

Director of Branches Affairs Department – Department of Human Resources Department, said: “We are following all the ideas of the projects established by young people. The problem is that many of these projects are similar and young entrepreneurs are just copying the model of a successful project. This is a challenge that we should address”. He pointed out that the Department is working to overcome this challenge, by developing youth skills so that they can set up their own business initiatives. He stressed that there are many forward-looking enterprises that support the development of the UAE.

In his closing comments he said, that the Department has already started implementing a ‘Distance Job Initiative’ in cooperation with the competent authorities, and invited Sharjah Youth Parliament and Sharjah Children Shura Council to learn more about this experience.

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