HCT & Canada’s SAIT Partner to Boost UAE National Workforce Opportunities
The Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) will partner with the Canadian Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) in the advancement of Retail & Logistics Sector Skills Academies which will support the UAE’s commerce and industry sectors, after the parties signed a cooperation agreement.
The signing ceremony was attended by His Excellency Nasser Bin Thani Al Hamli, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) and HCT Chancellor, and the agreement was signed by Dr. Abdullatif Al Shamsi, HCT President and CEO, and Dr. David Ross, President & CEO of SAIT.
The agreement will see the parties collaborate to support Retail & Logistics Academies that are part of the Sector Skills Academies (SSAs), which are being established by HCT as part of its HCT 4.0 strategy, and which are strongly aligned to the goals of the National Employment Strategy 2031.
The national strategy aims to prepare the national workforce for future jobs by reskilling and up-skilling about 65,000 Emiratis employed in various business sectors, as well as enhancing lifelong learning programs and directing 100% of the workforce to participate in continuing education programs. The Sector Skills Academies will equip UAE’s National workforce with future skills required in the labor market, so as to meet these goals.
HE Nasser Bin Thani Al Hamli said that by HCT implementing its HCT 4.0 strategic plan, in line with the directives of the UAE’s leadership, it will ensure the work readiness of HCT graduates entering the labor market, as well as guiding youth towards entrepreneurial endeavors, such as establishing their own businesses, in support of the national economy.
The HCT 4.0 strategic plan will also support and empower many employees to be familiar with technological updates and enhancing their skills, so as to keep pace with accelerating job changes dictated by the 4thIndustrial Revolution and the rapid development of Artificial Intelligence skills.
HE Nasser Bin Thani Al Hamli added that the Sector Skills Academies will support employees who wish to change their career pathsby empowering them with the necessary skills to operate in the labor market, stressing that the new HCT study tracks are aimed at the national workforce, so as to enhance lifelong learning by reinforcing applied learning in the curriculum and also by awarding professional certificates.
Dr. Abdullatif Al Shamsi, HCT President and CEO, said that the agreement with SAIT is an extended cooperation with this renowned educational institution, whereby SAIT’s expertise and curricula will be assets in establishing the new academies for the purpose of enabling employees to change their career pathways, which in turn will ensure their success in the future labor market.
Dr. Al Shamsi added that the future direction for the SSAs is to achieve the principle of “No Emirati Left Behind”, whereby the HCT is committed to providing education opportunities to each and every male and female Emirati. Accordingly, the HCT will launch a Logistics Academy and a Retail Academy in September 2019 in cooperation with SAIT, while additional academies for Hospitality, Petroleum, Gas, 4thIndustrial Revolution, and Artificial Intelligence, will be launched throughout 2020.
Dr. Al Shamsi noted that SAIT is one of the inaugural partnering educational institutions in the Global Applied Education Network (GAEN), which was launched by the HCT with the aim of supporting the future of applied education in the region.
“SAIT is pleased to be invited to be the lead consulting organization for this national initiative, working in tandem with HCT and the UAE government,” said Dr. Ross. “This is an incredible opportunity for SAIT to provide our expertise in delivering innovative competency-based education as the country charts its path in diversifying its economy through its progressive workforce transformation,” he added.