By: Jeff Maggioncalda, CEO of Coursera
Today, we are excited to announce that Coursera has partnered with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation (MBRF) to launch the FutureSkills4All initiative. This transformative program will provide scholarships for upskilling and reskilling thousands of citizens across the Arab States region, with the aim to boost their employability for digital jobs that will drive economic growth in the region.
The skills required in today’s job market are changing faster than ever before, largely due to the accelerated rate of digital transformation and advancements in AI. The WEF Future of Jobs Report 2023 found that while more than 60% of workers will need retraining by 2027, only half of these workers currently have access to adequate training opportunities.
“Skills development to meet the challenges of the 21st century requires robust collaboration and innovation. The FutureSkills4All initiative that we are launching today will shape a future where everyone has equal and easy access to quality continuing education and skills development,” said Abdallah Al Dardari, Assistant Secretary-General, Assistant Administrator and Director of the Regional Bureau for Arab States at UNDP. “We are confident that this initiative will pave the way for thousands of people to seize the opportunities of tomorrow and boost our pursuit of the vision of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the Arab States region.”
The one-year pilot program aims to provide thousands of people with the opportunity to develop in-demand and career-relevant skills, creating a more flexible and resilient workforce. In its initial phase, it will be available to 5,500 Arab States citizens in nine countries, including Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and the United Arab Emirates. It is open to recent graduates, entrepreneurs, and job seekers, with a specific focus on individuals in underserved and vulnerable communities. The program also aims to assist micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises, as well as public institutions, in improving their employees’ skills.
“Partnerships like these reflect the United Arab Emirates’ vision of progress and innovation, empowering individuals with the knowledge and skills they need for the future. Together, we aim to foster an environment where every individual can thrive in the digital age,” said H.E. Jamal Bin Huwaireb, CEO of MBRF. “Launching this initiative with UNDP and Coursera not only underscores the commitment of our nation to the development of the Arab States region but also to global cooperation and knowledge exchange.
We’re proud to partner with UNDP and MBRF to equip thousands of citizens across the Arab States region with the in-demand skills and credentials needed to participate in the digital economy. The partnership also serves as an ideal blueprint for other regions to expedite job-creation, enhance employability, and advance workforce modernization.