Taking sustainability to a new level in the UAE: A national youth development initiative for 25,000 Emiratis by 2025

Dubai, UAE – 23 December 2021: The Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education (AGFE) today announced ‘Nomu’ a multi sector partnership initiative in collaboration with University Leadership Council (ULC) to empower 25,000 Emirati youth by 2025. The initiative will offer high quality learning opportunities that are tied to UAE priority sectors in the nation’s sustainability strategy.

Meaning ‘Growth’ in Arabic, Nomu will focus on preparing the youth with the information, skills, experience, and tools needed for success in a digital, knowledge-based economy. Reflecting the 10 competencies identified by World Economic Forum (WEF) to succeed in the future workplace, Nomu was designed to positively disrupt and favourably impact systems that will lead talent enhancement for the UAE Youth and in enable/equip them to find greater success in the future of work.

To compete in the global labour market arena for the jobs of tomorrow, Emirati youth will be better equipped through their participation in Nomu which will ensure that they stay ahead of the skills curve. The World Economic Forum’s ‘Future of Jobs’ report stated the importance of upskilling in the global labour market to remain competitive and estimated that 50 per cent of all employees will need reskilling by 2025, as adoption of technology increases.

With the UAE continuing to strengthen its foundations to rise as a global economic powerhouse, the nation’s youth are going to play a crucially pivotal role in the future growth ambitions of the country, and its sustainable institutional advancement especially in emerging sectors that have become an incubator for talent, influencing the future economy. This initiative aims to meet the growing needs of the future labour market, focusing on identifying priority industries and recruitment pipelines.

Under the Nomu initiative, students will benefit from multiple coordinated programs including the opportunity to work in an industry related to their field. The program will see corporates and universities work together by applying real world learning, keeping up with technological skills and solving workforce challenges. The 25,000 selected Emirati youth will be exposed to a wide range of talent transformation programs focused on digital technologies including experiential bootcamps. These transformational learning experiences will equip them with the skills and mindset habits that are in high demand by employers and that are needed to help them thrive in the new age.

Underlying the significance of this initiative, His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, UAE Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence and Chairman of the University Leadership Council said, “Nomu reflects the mandate of the University Leadership Council to promote collaborative work across education, to enhance mutually beneficial dialogs amongst leading institutions of higher learning, promote collaborative industry and government sectors towards the common goals of meeting the requirements of the industry and the sustainable economy, as well as initiate and support global partnership in the strategic axes of development for a sustainable future. We are proud of the work that the Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education has been doing. We are therefor particularly pleased to join in the efforts to support national youth development for the country’s ceaseless development.

Explaining the motivation behind this new initiative, His Excellency Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, Chairman of AGFE said, “It is our collective responsibility to make sure that Emirati talent continues to be globally competitive as we shift our efforts to meet the demands of the fourth industrial revolution. The UAE serves as a model on how the private sector helps to serve society and achieve sustainability with innovation and strategic partnerships. We can only achieve this goal when the private sector is part of the solution investing in our youth and working towards a balanced national economy.”

Underlining the increasing need for large-scale, informed, and collaborative action for significant reskilling and upskilling of the workforce of tomorrow in the UAE, Dr Sonia Ben Jaafar, the CEO of AGFE, said: “The importance of harmonizing a talent ecosystem that facilitates industry actors to be a part of the solution is critical for UAE youth to find their way to a sustainable future. At AGFE, we have showcased a continued commitment to strategic partnerships with public and private sector actors for the benefit of youth development. Nomu will serve as a scalable model where Emirati youth will find industry actors who value them as top talent for the sustainable development of the UAE and internationally.”

Mr. Charbel Akkawi, Director of Programs in the University Leadership Council expressed the collective pride of the ULC in concluding this collaborative undertaking, which will no doubt add strength to strength in the societal and communitarian effort and the triangulated endeavour between the private sector, public sector, and academia, on the behalf of the sustainable enhancement of talent and the capacity building of the UAE youth in facing the increasingly digital future of tomorrow.