Hussain Al Hammadi, UAE Minister of Education, during a keynote address Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: Building youth skills is a national priority because it will enable the private sector to play a key role in the development of the UAE, a top minister said in the capital on Monday.

The Youth Preparedness and Knowledge Summit, where this is a major topic of discussion, is therefore supporting the nation’s future, added Hussain Al Hammadi, UAE Minister of Education, during a keynote address on the first day of the two-day event.

“The [Summit] affirms the focus on education, specialised training and building youth skills as a national priority to supply the labor market with competencies, thus relying on the private sector as a major national partner in the development process. Given the need for students of all ages to learn through creativity and knowledge creation to understand information and enrich the educational experience, the Ministry of Education has been developing curricula that promote the concept of creativity and innovation, as well as providing an environment that encourages students to communicate and evolve,” he said.

More than 30 experts are addressing youth education, knowledge and skills at the Summit, which is supported by the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) Academy. The initiative will also focus on bridging cross-sector gaps, and encouraing innovation, technology and research opportunities for the country’s youth.

Speaker and panel platforms are debating topics designed to further industry and academia collaboration, including youth empowerment, innovation and technology, and the role of innovation in supporting the UAE’s transformation to a knowledge-based economy.

“Our youth are our future, and we must empower their possibilities. It should be borne in mind that the Abu Dhabi Government alone has estimated the emirate needs to create 120,000 new jobs for Emiratis by 2030. This is the responsibility of all of us who play a part in economic development and time is of the essence to pool our combined knowledge and expertise to ferment innovation and harness our homegrown talent to further enable our transition to a knowledge-based economy,” said Mohamed Helal Al Mheiri, director general at the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which is supporting the event.

The Summit is powered by the ADGM Academy, part of the ADGM International Financial Centre, which aims to become one of the region’s leading world-class financial research and training services resources, and is therefore focussed on developing a highly skilled and productive workforce.

“Youth has an enormous role to play when it comes to the nation’s transition to a knowledge based digital economy. This Summit is our effort to bring intellectual minds together to shape an era of smart future and a capable young generation where they are co-creators and co-drivers to sustain the change,” Hamad Al Mazrouei, chief operational officer at ADGM and ADGM Academy managing director.