By Sarah Townsend
About 20 percent of government budget is dedicated to education to address labour market shifts
Two UAE ministers have pledged to improve national education to build a competitive and diversified jobs market.
Speaking at a conference in Abu Dhabi, Ahmad bin Abdulla Humaid Belhoul Al Falasi, minister of state for higher education, cited a report from Oxford University in December claiming developed nations would see job loss rates of up to 47 percent within the next two decades. He said improving education was key to meeting labour market challenges such as this.
“According to a recent Oxford University report, 47 percent of current jobs and positions in the global economy will ‘disappear’ over the next 20 years,” he said.
“Many of the jobs that our children will work in do not exist today. Education will be the most important factor in ensuring that we are equipped to meet these challenges.”
And Saqr bin Ghobash Saeed Ghobash, the UAE’s minister of human resources and Emiratisation, called for policy changes to sustain a well-paid and diversified national workforce.
“Labour markets are already changing around the world, due to increasing automation, the rise of artificial intelligence, and the impacts of globalisation," Ghobash said.
“Our ambition is to see a labour market that continues to provide well-paid, valued and fulfilling jobs for all, driving a diversified and competitive economy in the UAE.”
The event was organised by the UAE government in cooperation with the International Labour Organisation (ILO).