The Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB), the kingdom’s investment promotion agency, has partnered with the World Economic Forum (WEF) to launch the ‘Closing the Skills Gap Accelerator’.
The accelerator is aimed at increasing employability and preparedness for the future of work among the current and next generation workforce, said a statement from EDB.
The announcement was made at the recently concluded 50th World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting, which was held in Davos, Switzerland.
The accelerator is one of several such accelerators launched in partnership with WEF’s Platform for Shaping the Future of the New Economy and Society.
The accelerators are national level public-private leadership collaboration platforms that address national and industry skills gaps in the face of the massive technological disruption sweeping the globe.
So far six countries have established their own: Argentina, India, Oman, Pakistan, South Africa and the UAE. The goal is to expand the model to build a global network of 15 economies accelerating closing the skills gaps by 2020.
It is estimated that Bahrain will witness a workforce growth of 8,000 workers annually, with the burden of accommodating these entrants falling primarily on the private sector. Findings from a 2019 employer survey across eight main sectors – healthcare, financial services, manufacturing, logistics, oil and gas, renewables, ICT, and startups – indicated a major gap in digital skills in the labour market.
The new accelerator will bring together the kingdom’s businesses, government, civil society, education institutes, and training providers under one roof to generate local skills gap insight, develop an action plan, and drive its execution.
Khalid Humaidan, chief executive, Bahrain EDB, said: “Digital transformation is happening at an unprecedented pace across the globe – and nowhere more so than in the Middle East, where ambitious reforms and diversification efforts have placed a renewed focus on the region.”
“But as disruptive technologies change the way we work, live and interact, skills gaps are emerging which must be filled to prepare for the future. Bahrain benefits from a young and growing population, and by equipping the next generation with the right skills we can build truly sustainable development,” he said.
“WEF Davos 2020 presents the ideal forum for the public and private sectors to work in close collaboration as we seek to solve the challenges of tomorrow,” he added. – TradeArabia News Service