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Will upskilling improve your job prospects in the UAE right now?

Will upskilling improve your job prospects in the UAE right now?

With the pandemic adversely affecting the jobs market, professionals must ensure their skills remain relevant, says head of Heriot-Watt University Dubai

The economic crisis brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic has caused companies across the board to shrink operations, leading to furloughs and even layoffs in some cases.

With several companies also putting a freeze on hiring to save costs at this point, the outlook for young professionals and job seekers in the UAE is not too optimistic.

But one way to improve your chances of getting back into the workforce is to ensure that you have the right skills that match with the requirements in the hiring space.

“Upskilling is certainly one of the key ways by which you can boost employability,” says Professor Ammar Kaka, provost and vice principal of Heriot-Watt University Dubai. “Upskilling is always valued and necessary in order to stay relevant.”

Opting to pursue further education also provides employees growth opportunities for the future, even as the jobs market continues to evolve, he adds.

The university has seen more young professionals displaying interest in its courses and enrolling in them during this time. “They see this time as a good opportunity to take stock of their careers, what they want in the future and take steps accordingly,” states Kaka.

However, even looking beyond the Covid-19 situation, technological changes brought on by AI and automation are set to revolutionse the workforce, leaving many roles redundant.

The World Economic Forum states that five years from now, over one-third– or 35 per cent – of skills considered important will have changed. A study released by consultancy McKinsey and Company in 2018 also found that 45 per cent of jobs in the Middle East were technically automatable, translating into 20.8 million full-time employees and $366.6bn in wage income.

“Education can address this issue by giving people the skills they need to harness the power of tech and automation,” says Kaka.

Heriot Watt University Dubai is looking at introducing new courses in line with market requirements, he explains. Next year, it plans to introduce the courses in Data Science, Robotics, Autonomous and Interactive Systems.

“In the future, the job market is only going to get more competitive and we will continue to see use of automation and tech growing, so one needs to upskill in order to stay relevant,” adds Kaka.

To understand in more detail the importance of upskilling in the current regional marketplace and how professionals can decide on the way ahead for them, make sure to attend this very special webinar hosted by Gulf Business in association with Heriot Watt University Dubai.

Date: Monday | June 22, 2020
Time: 2pm
Register here: http://response.gulfbusiness.com/HW_University_GB

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