New hub to provide specialised training and coaching for unemployed UAE youth

Author: Kirsty Tuxford | Date: 15 Jun 2016

Non-profit Education for Employment attempts to tackle high unemployment rates among young people

The non-profit organisation Education For Employment (EFE) has opened a new branch office in the UAE, offering specialised training and coaching for young people.

According to EFE, the MENA region has the highest youth unemployment rates in the world, with the average above 25 per cent and exceeding 60 per cent in some demographic groups. Research shows that almost 90 per cent of CEOs believe that the limited supply of candidates with the right skills presents the biggest short-term challenge facing their organisation.

“We aim to create opportunities for unemployed youth in the region by providing them with globally recognised job training and placement, employability and micro-entrepreneurship programmes, and to create value for employers by linking them to the skilled talent they need,” says Jamie McAuliffe, president and CEO of EFE.

To create high-impact programmes, EFE engages the private and public sectors, youth, and educators in collaborative partnerships. This is done through their network of locally run EFE Affiliates in Egypt, Jordan, Palestine, Yemen, Morocco, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia. Capacity-building hubs in the USA, Europe and UAE support the process.

“EFE programmes are 'demand-driven': we train youth in the skills that employers seek today, and those they expect to seek in the future,” explains McAuliffe. “In return, companies commit to hire EFE trainees after they graduate. Over 2,000 organisations – from Fortune 100 firms to local SMEs – have hired EFE graduates.

“To ensure a lasting 'full circle' impact, we measure our success by graduate job placement rates, rather than by training numbers alone, and offer alumni programmes for civic engagement and continuing professional development. We have developed special expertise and initiatives that help young women enter the workforce; over 53 per cent of our graduates are young women,” he adds.

The UAE hub office will serve as a regional base for building partnerships that attract resources and attention to EFE’s mission of linking MENA youth to economic opportunity. At a local level, the new office aims to use EFE’s expertise in MENA youth employment to contribute to initiatives that create economic opportunity for Emirati youth.

At the opening ceremony of the UAE office, Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, minister of culture and knowledge development commented: “EFE’s dedication to employment of young men and women coincides with our national commitment to building and maintaining a knowledge based economy and achieving full employment for our young people. We are pleased that the UAE will provide assistance, training, expertise and network to support EFE affiliates in the MENA.”

“The MENA region has the fastest-growing youth population in the world, and also its highest youth unemployment rate,” added Samer Choumar, EFE’s managing director. “In what many view as a crisis, we at EFE see the positive potential. When youth have the right skills and opportunities, they can energise organisations here and serve as the backbone of dynamic economies and societies.”