UAE-based retail giant Majid Al Futtaim has signed an agreement with the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) to establish a retail academy and industry consortium in the country.
The shopping mall developer said it is aiming to boost educational support for the growing retail sector in the UAE through the agreement.
The initiative will be undertaken by the Majid Al Futtaim Charity Foundation and HCT's commercial arm, the Centre of Excellence for Applied Research and Training (CERT).
The aim of the retail academy will be to help launch and advance retail careers of Emiratis, while also supporting the country's fast growing retail sector, which now accounts for 20 percent of the UAE's non-oil GDP and employs 20 percent of the workforce.
A statement said HCT/CERT and Majid Al Futtaim Charity Foundation will work together to leverage support of leading international academic institutions to help develop the first national level institution providing best in class education and training for the sector.
The Foundation and HCT will also seek to establish a retail consortium, made-up of leading retailers, education institutions, to provide guidance for industry skills training and ensure long term sustainability of the academy.
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) to develop these initiatives further was signed by Dr Tayeb Kamali, Vice Chancellor of the Higher Colleges of Technology and Dr Najib Al Khaja, CEO of Majid Al Futtaim Charity Foundation.
Al Khaja said: "Increased consumer confidence and a rise in tourism growth are helping to drive the UAE's rapid emergence as a global retail destination. We recognise that there is a need to develop formal educational opportunities and provide vocational training in the retail sector and believe these exciting initiatives will help to ensure the UAE has a future pool of well-trained retail talent is able to fill the growing demand from retailers."
Kamali added: "This partnership will result in empowering our graduates with the knowledge, skills and confidence to contribute effectively to our nation and its growing diversified economy and lead them to successful future careers in retail.
"We are pleased to be working closely with the Majid Al Futtaim Charity Foundation and it is through collaborations such as this that we are able to give students an unparalleled advantage in the workplace."
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