Sharjah, UAE: Education providers and universities must hone innovative skills of students to prepare them for the workplace, say experts.
As UAE Government is placing much focus on accelerating towards future, employers nowadays are looking for young graduates who will bring new ideas to their fields.
Students looking to earn their degrees have the opportunity to get face-to-face meetings with officials and exhibitors that represent different universities in UAE and abroad as The International Education Show (IES) returned on Wednesday at Expo Sharjah Center for its 13th edition.
Held until Friday, the show is also organized concurrently with the 19th National Career Exhibition to help national graduates explore career options available with the country’s public and private sector establishments.
Amal Al Jasmi, Director of Academic and Career Counseling at Ministry of Education, said there’s much emphasis on training students on the “21st century skills.”
“At the ministry, we build the students’ characters, giving them the skills they will need to help develop the country’s future,” said Al Jasmi, noting that the ministry’s vision is to provide innovative education for a knowledge, pioneering, and global society.
At the Sharjah Book Authority stall, there was a golf court and table of Legos. According to Salem Omar Salem, Director of the authority’s Sales and Marketing, these features weren’t randomly added. “It is to test candidates’ expression through creativity and problem solving, and their ability to combine small ideas together to come up with something innovative.”
He noted that while book authority is associated with cultural activities that could be perceived as technical and static, new ideas and projects are constantly in demanded to see progress in any given field.
“The job market nowadays might be slow, but recruiters are looking for those who can bring new ideas to place,” said Salem.
Ghazal Hijazi, recruitment assistant at American University of Sharjah, said team work, besides innovation, is vital in today’s modern world. “Students and graduates nowadays are introverts as they are more used to staying behind their mobile screens, but teamwork in any field is a crucial skill.” She added that students learn innovation as they join university.
“Most of education providers focus on innovation be it in engineering or architecture projects among other fields. Even if students weren’t taught to be innovative at schools, it is a skill they pick up at university.”
Mohammed Al Ghouj, exhibition manager of the IES, said this year witnessed 30 per cent increase in participation as 29 new local and international universities, colleges and institutions showcase their programs bringing the total to 100 participants.
The National Career Exhibition received more than 70 ministries, governmental and non-governmental entities as well as companies from all economic sectors.
Mai Ibrahim, the exhibition’s manager, said the 10 per cent increase of participation from last year shows the private sector attention to Emirati talent, given the government’s push for the Emiratization of the private sector.
The event has been seeing a rising demand among students as it recorded a 30 per cent increase in visitor turnout in 2016, as compared to the previous year.
© Khaleej TimesFeb 2017