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Mohammed Hamad Al Kuwaiti, Head of Cyber Security at the UAE government, with Ahmad Alkhallafi, Managing Director of HPE UAE Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Up to 500 students – and even graduates – in the UAE will be trained each year in cyber tech skills and future job requirements through an agreement between UAE Cyber Security Council and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE).

This represents an extension to HPE’s Emiratisation programme launched in 2019. The aim is to encourage these selected students to take up ‘sought-after’ technology courses when they move into a university.

“There is no doubt that empowering national talents across all sectors to manage the cybersecurity system is crucial in protecting the UAE’s gains, which is to achieve the highest level of safety and security,” said Mohammed Hamad Al Kuwaiti, Head of Cyber Security at the UAE government.

“The UAE has adopted a number of effective initiatives that will increase confidence in the country’s capabilities to provide a safe and stable environment for individuals and companies. Ultimately, it will contribute to attracting those looking for safe investment, whether from within or outside the country.”

What will HPE provide?

The partnership with Cyber Security Council has three separate elements that support students at school, those in university, and graduates. HPE will partner with local primary and secondary schools to provide workshops, including at the HPE Digital Life Garage in Dubai, which is the company’s regional innovation hub.

HPE is also extending its internship programme for university students, offering six-month work placement. The programme will also be supported by lectures from HPE executives on AI, high performance computing, and the cloud.

“We are mainly targeting all high schools - the more we can support the better,” said Ahmad Alkhallafi, Managing Director of HPE UAE. “The MOU is signed for the whole of the UAE and aim to reach out to all the educational institutions across seven emirates.”

“This programme is the key to full time early career hiring. We hire university students for on job training to provide the needed knowledge for their career acceleration.”

Tech assigned priority

Over the last year, in particular, the UAE has assigned the highest priority to build a deep talent pool in the tech space. The announcement of a ‘National Program for Coders’ and declaring of October 29 to mark computer programming and coding are all part of that wider strategy to build up skills from the ground level.

According to Al Kuwaiti, “We relentlessly work with all governmental, local and global sectors to mitigate risks in the cyberspace in light of the rapid technological development, especially in the telecommunications and infrastructure sector. [It is] the UAE’s vision to:

• Create a comprehensive governance model for data governance;

• The gradual transformation of public digital services into national cloud computing model in the country;

• Build cyber capabilities across the country;

• Raise awareness in the cybersecurity field; and

• Partner with other sectors and organizations.

“We aim to equip UAE citizens with tools based on latest scientific technologies to manage the cybersecurity system.”