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MENAFN Press - 22/04/2014
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(MENAFN Press) UAE, April 22, 2014 - ICDL GCC Foundation, an organisation dedicated to promoting digital skills and cyber safety for-all across the Gulf region, has announced that fresh university graduates in the GCC are likely to face stiff challenges in securing good employment opportunities due to their lack of readiness with the essential ICT skills required by today's job market. ICDL further stated that this is due to technology progressing much faster than education, and hence, our region's education system falls short of providing students with the relevant skills needed in the 21st century workplace.

In a world where even job seeking is increasingly changing, a job seeker must possess the skills to leverage ICT in the job search. A job seeker must be able to use the available online search tools, upload a CV on the various job portals, and utilize the popular social media platforms. According to a digital literacy survey provided in 2013 Prince's Trust Report, one in 10 unemployed young individuals cannot even send their CV online, while more than one in six believe they would be in work today if they had better computer skills. With this alarming problem facing the world's job seekers, let alone our own, the education system must prepare teachers to deliver the needed skills to students and must incorporate practical ICT training in the curricula before students graduate.

Major changes in ICT are happening and happening too fast, evidenced by the introduction of technologies relevant to cloud computing, cyber safety, IT security, social media, collaboration, and web meeting. Employers in the public and private sectors are pushing to leverage these technologies in order to become more cost-efficient and customer service oriented. These rapid changes have also brought about drastic shifts in the GCC's job landscape. According to the European Commission Digital Agenda, 90 per cent of jobs will need at least a reasonable level of ICT skills by 2015.

Jamil Ezzo, Director General of ICDL GCC Foundation, emphasised on the need of equipping the youth with the relevant ICT skills to ensure their readiness for today's workplace. He said: "Being ready for today's job market requires a bit more than knowledge in using the Internet, email and the common office applications. Employers are demanding ICT skills that are aligned with the latest technologies, they are employing. The education system in the GCC must keep up with these technological developments and fully understand the region's job market demands to ensure that graduates are ready with the skills to be able to take the first step in their careers."

"ICDL GCC Foundation has been working in collaboration with qualification and educational regulators to implement various internationally recognized computer certification programs that help GCC Nationals to be skilled, re-skilled and up skilled in line with the latest international trends in ICT training and certification. As the GCC moves towards knowledge-based economy, it is imperative the GCC workforce are trained with the latest digital skills for functional industry experience to give a boost to the policy of Nationalization" concluded Ezzo.

Driven by the emerging trends and latest technologies, ICDL has revealed recently a new structure for its ICT certification offering prospective employees as well as employers the flexibility, diversity and relevance to acquire the ICT skills they need. The New ICDL is currently being widely reviewed and accepted by schools around the world and particularly in the UAE, Qatar and Bahrain.

About ICDL
The International Computer Driving License (ICDL) is a global computer literacy initiative developed to provide knowledge about Information Technology (IT) and enhance competence of using personal computers and common computer applications for all the citizens of the world. The ICDL GCC Foundation is the sole body to implement and disseminate the program across the GCC States and Iraq with the support of leading educational institutions and accredited bodies. The Foundation mission is to enable proficient use of Information and Communications Technology that empowers individuals, organizations and society, through the development, promotion and delivery of quality certification programmes around the world.



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