The Institute for Vocational Development held a forum at Abu Dhabi University entitled ‘Developing Effective Employees for the Global Workforce’ in collaboration with key accreditation partner, Edexcel. The event was attended by more than 230 participants representing employment sectors in 70 public and private organisations. It highlighted the results of a global study commissioned by Edexcel about the challenges faced by governments, employers, employees and job seekers across a multitude of industries worldwide in the area of effective education for employment. Dr. Nabil Ibrahim, Chancellor of Abu Dhabi University, who delivered the welcoming remarks, said that the forum is a very unique opportunity for government leaders, employers, educators and employees to find solution on how to develop an effective workforce in the UAE. “It is our responsibility to develop workforce to become leaders for a knowledge-based economy in the UAE. Our goal for the country and for Abu Dhabi in particular, is to be a competitive economy at par with the leading countries in the world,” he added. He also furthered that, “There is a growing gap between the education and the employment sector and Abu Dhabi University prides itself to bridge this gap. We challenge our students to undergo experiential learning, taking internships during summer, to gain relevant studies to better understand the factors involved in the workplace. Such will equip our graduates to how to think and effectively work that extends beyond graduation.” The keynote speech – given by Ross Hall, Director of International Edexcel and VP Pearson Learning Solutions – tackled the study conducted by Edexcel about Effective Education for Employment. The research was done with 2000 government officials, industry and education sectors in 25 countries including an ongoing study and round table debates. “Our education fails to educate and prepare future generations to help economies to compete in the global skills race. Also, governments around the world are not well connected to the education sector and importantly, there is a disconnection between the educators and the employers. As a result, there is an absence of the development of workforce behaviours within education such as leadership, innovation and entrepreneurship. Developing these fundamental skills for employees through experiential learning is very important. “Best practises in education are not shared around the world. People still prefer academic education than vocational education, and we have to work together to share the success stories on vocational and technical education with the government to address the issues in the workplaces,” Hall said. Meanwhile, Bob Turner, Manager of Vocational Education Development, Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC), explained the council’s future platform such as the development of more open pathways, between all sectors of education, leading to social and economic engagement. Also included in ADEC agenda are finding continuous learning opportunities for employees and potential collaborations between industry, government, education and the public at large. Speaking of the forum Richard Firth, Director of IVD, said “This has provided an excellent opportunity to bring thought leaders, captains of industry, educators and government officials together to allow them to understand, first hand, each others issues and collaborate to find effective solutions. “Our partnership with Edexcel, a Pearson company has proved to be extremely fruitful,” continued Firth, “as one of the world’s largest awarding bodies they have been a staunch supporter of our vision to meet to UAE’s skills development needs using a combination of international best practise and regional knowledge. During the course of the day delegates had the opportunity to participate in plenary sessions, panel discussions and round-table workshops with Mr. Ross Hall, Director of International - Edexcel and Vice President of Learning Solutions as well as distinguished representatives from IVD, the Financial Times, the British Council, Pearson Education, Etihad Airways, the National Institute for Vocational and Sharjah Institute of Technology.
“The seminar is a great example of IVD’s commitment to supporting local businesses and providing the necessary tools to combat the challenges they face by drawing upon the experiences of a range of officials and industry leaders. The delivery of such collaborative knowledge advancement will have a positive impact on these leaders and on the performance of their organisations,” added Firth.
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