Dr. Ahmad Abdullah Belhoul Al Falasi, minister of state for higher education and advanced skills, said that the UAE will lead the advanced skills portfolio through its forward-looking approach.
UAE will launch several projects and initiatives in to further this mandate, Saudi Gazette reports.
Belhoul spoke on this topic as part of the second season of the Dubai Future Academy’s ‘Pioneer Series’, which aims to enhance the exchange of knowledge and raise the level of community awareness by reviewing innovative initiatives as identified by the Future Council.
He stressed on the importance of advanced skills by discussing the relationship between people, the environment in which they live in, and the availability of necessary resources to meet their needs. He highlighted that skills development and adoption is the way by which the individual is able to harness their environment in order to improve their livelihood.
He spoke about the significance of advanced skills considering the forthcoming rapid changes in the labour market due to the advanced technological trends in automation using artificial intelligence, robotics and big data analytics.
He cited the study by “Oxford Martin”, which anticipated the automation of 47 per cent of jobs, and a World Economic Forum report, which indicated that 64 per cent of today’s students will occupy new jobs that do not currently exist.
He mentioned that while these trends constitute a global challenge, they represent a unique opportunity for the UAE because of the forward-looking approach that has always enabled the country to lead in various sectors, the report adds.
Belhoul referred to several examples in this regard, in particular; the evolution of an advanced skills portfolio in parallel with higher education, in addition to the UAE’s focus on artificial intelligence and advanced sciences, which considers the future of scientific research across different sectors.
“It is difficult to predict or identify the skills required for the future, given the rapid pace of technology development around us,” he said, “So the best solution is for the workforce to have a foundation of primary skills, a work-oriented mindset to achieve self-motivation and the constant effort to utilize resources and support available. This will enable them to continue lifelong learning of professional skills needed to keep up with labor market requirements.”
Belhoul added: “When discussing advanced skills; higher technical jobs and skills comes to mind, such as programming and data analysis, robotics engineering, and 3D printing in health care, but this is only a fragment of the bigger picture, where personal skills such as communication, cooperation, creativity, analytical and critical thinking, entrepreneurship and taking initiative are equally important”.
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