PPIs key to nurturing future employment skills

MUSCAT, NOV 3 – Education is of paramount importance in building future skills for the national workforce and an array of Public-Private Initiatives (PPIs), according to Oman’s Future Skills Initiative, conducted by the Supreme Council for Planning in partnership with the World Economic Forum in Muscat on Sunday, The event was chaired by Dr Ali bin Masoud al Sunaidy, Minister of Commerce and Industry. Organised in partnership with the World Economic Forum, the Initiative aims to identify skills that will be most critical for raising the country’s productivity in an age of increased digitalisation, extreme automation and big data-driven artificial intelligence.
“Oman’s Future Skills Initiative comes in a timely manner as the world we are living in today has become an increasingly digitalised global village, with an ever-growing reliance on advanced technologies,” said Sayyidah Rawan al Said, Co-chair of Oman’s Future Skills.
Unveiling its plans for preparing Omanis for a digitalised future, Sayyidah Rawan said, “We have some insights regarding upskilling and labour market productivity and the private sector can play an active role in driving long-term economic development at the heart of its strategy.” The strategy to be formed under the leadership of the minister of commerce and industry will be chalked out in order to achieve national objectives under the 9th five-year plan as well as those set out in the transformational strategy of Vision 2040, Sayyidah said.

After it had identified the priority future skills, the Future Skills Initiative examined which gaps existed for the provision of such skills to Oman’s workforce. Aided by special surveys of private-sector leaders and youth groups, input from global and local experts and a thorough review of international and local research and literature, the Initiative developed a Future Skills Framework to guide action by policymakers and all relevant stakeholders.
The event, attended by Sharifa Tahir Aidid, CEO of National Training Fund, and representatives of a number of ministries, and public authorities, showcased several 4IR businesses using Artificial Intelligence, data analytics, virtual and augmented reality, and drones to demonstrate that the future is already here.
“In order to bridge the gap and to equip our young Omanis capable of taking up any job of future, Inma is planning train all job-seekers irrespective of their qualifications or position sought in future,” said Sharifa.
She added that Inma has so far trained 600 job-seekers registered with the NTF as part of the pilot project which will be combining both skill training and requirements from school level the studies of which are currently under way.
The Task Force that guides the Initiative, comprised influential figures from the business, education and government communities, made a call to action directed to employers, youth and other stakeholders, to participate in the surveys and engage in this drive to a digitalised economic future.
A website was launched to gather and showcase all such efforts and collect the pledges of support to make Oman’s Future Skills Initiative a complete success.

Oman Observer

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