The UAE is lagging behind the world's leading economies in the provision of vocational education, according to a study published by the consultancy firm Deloitte. The global average for enrolment in vocational programmes is 10 percent of students while in some developed countries such as Germany it is up to 50 percent. The current average in the UAE stands at between 1 to 3 percent.
The study was commissioned by Dubai International Academic City and one of its startling findings is that the UAE faces a manpower gap of 200,000 educationalists by 2015. Key areas where they are required are in management, accountancy as well as vocational training.
The study was presented and discussed at the Global Educational Supplies and Solutions Exhibition (GESS) on Tuesday. Senior educators agreed that the stigma which attaches to vocational training in the UAE has been a major inhibitor of its development.
Dr Ayoub Kazim, managing director of DIAC and Knowledge Village, pointed to recent moves encouraged by government, particularly in the medical and nuclear energy fields which have had a positive effect in promoting vocational training: “Especially the government in Abu Dhabi,” he said. “Over the past five to seven years, they have introduced the Institutes of Advanced Technology which are now around the country as well as institutions such as Fatima College of Nursing and targeting these niche careers.”