Experts highlight need for young talent to develop skills for a post-Covid-19 world

Dubai Chamber webinar examined key challenges faced by youth during the pandemic, as well as the most in-demand skills needed in a changing job market.

Experts highlight need for young talent to develop skills for a post-Covid-19 world

Dubai, UAE: The Covid-19 pandemic has created a need for young talent to develop and enhance their skill sets as they prepare for a new job market in a post-Covid-19 world, according to experts who spoke on the topic during a recent webinar hosted by Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The webinar, entitled Unlock the Potential of Young Talent During and Post Covid-19 Pandemic, was organised by the Dubai Chamber Sustainability Network’s Community Engagement task force and attended by 36 participants representing 24 companies and organisations in Dubai.

Presentations and discussions during workshop shed light on key challenges faced by youth during the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, the most in-demand skills needed in a changing job market, and the role that the private sector can play in supporting and empowering young talent under the current circumstances by providing the right learning and development opportunities.

Sharing their insights and views during the webinar were: Dr. Zeenath Reza Khan, Faculty Lead of Technology and Integrity in Academia and Beyond Research & Teaching Forum and Assistant Professor of Cyber Ethics, University of Wollongong; Lina Hourani, Divisional Director, CSR Al Ahli Group; Dima Najim, Managing Director-UAE, Education For Employment (EFE); Nujoud Serhan, Program Management & Performance Excellence Director, Crown Prince Foundation – Jordan; and Peter Hogg, Talent Acquisition Director, MEA, Schneider Electric.

Khan stressed the importance of highlighting the true potential of young people who have shown tremendous resilience and will to rise to the occasion, adding that all stakeholders in the society can step up to provide support to vulnerable communities and collectively build a new future post-pandemic.

Hourani explained that CSR Al Ahli Holding Group is currently focusing its efforts on empowering the involvement of youth in the solutions, encouraging the positive thinking among youth and CSR departments, and offering online entrepreneurial support. She also proposed the establishment of a joint task force to maximize the impact of various youth-focused support programmes.

Najim noted that it is now more important than ever before for society to keep youth front and centre as it navigates the new normal and said organisations should be investing in youth-targeted educational initiatives to build their capacity and empower them to take responsibility for their future.

Serhan shared the experience of the Crown Prince Foundation (CPF) as one of the leading NGOs in Jordan that quickly adapted to the Covid-19 situation both through its initiatives and through communications and outreach. CPF initiatives were able to swiftly transform their operations online to continue with their mandate and not interrupt their plans serving tens of thousands of beneficiaries through diverse activities, she explained.

For his part, Hogg spoke about Schneider Electric’s newly-launched Virtual Internship Program, which helps interns developing their skills and getting valuable insights, adding that the flexible programme could be accessed from anywhere around the world.

Commenting on the webinar, Dr. Belaid Rettab Senior Director, Economic Research and Sustainable Business Development Sector, Dubai Chamber, said: “Given the integral role and contribution of young talent to the UAE’s future socio-economic development, it is crucial that more organisations make youth engagement and support initiatives a top priority. Efforts to engage youth and help them develop their potential should become a key focus of companies’ CSR programmes and initiatives.”

Rettab described the webinar as a positive and insightful learning experience for the academic and business communities in Dubai, as it put the spotlight on best practices for empowering and educating youth, as well as addressing new challenges emerging in the Covid-19 era.

The Dubai Chamber of Sustainability network is an essential platform for the business community to exchange information and experiences on matters related to corporate social responsibility and sustainability.

The Centre for Responsible Business (CRB) was established by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry in 2004 to support and promote corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability. The Centre’s objective is to engage the Dubai business community in assuming greater responsibility for the emirate’s social and environmental needs.

The CRB also promotes Dubai as the GCC’s gateway for global commerce by offering its business partners an environment of transparency and rule of law.