Call to boost Gulf vocational education
Dubai, March 12, 2012
Emirates Aviation College (EAC), one of the leading higher educational institutions in the region, and the UK-based consultancy Edexcel have called for more efforts to boost vocational education in the Gulf.
There is an imperative need for GCC education system to work on introducing students to the real-world workplace, said the duo during a ceremony to celebrate the 11th anniversary of their partnership.
Mark Andrews, regional director, Mena/Caribbean, Edexcel said: “EAC has been successful because they are tailoring training programmes to the needs of the labour market in the aviation sector.'
'They also had a target of having more nationals in the aviation sector and they achieved this because they leverage on vocational education to prepare job-ready students for the workplace,' he noted.
Andrews added: “It is sad that for many businesses in the GCC, a short, job-specific training course can be a quicker passport to employment or career advancement than four years of academic study that is more focused on theory than real practice.”
“No education system, private or public, can hope to fulfil its role as a provider of job-ready individuals without understanding the market’s requirements. The situation in the GCC is far from the level necessary for employers and jobseekers in the region,” he added.
Andrews said, “After four years of study, university graduates still need a lot of training. Part of the problem is that businesses do not have opportunities to influence education policies, effectively rendering the education system inadequate for meeting their needs.”
In his comments, Dr Ahmad Al Ali, vice chancellor of EAC said, 'The college relentlessly works on expanding its curriculum to meet market needs. We boast a multicultural environment at the college as we welcome students from around the world.'
'We also continuously strengthen our ties with the aviation community to keep abreast with the newest technologies and share best practices adopted worldwide,' he added.
Counting on vocational colleges such as EAC, Middle East education has to take vocational education more seriously to prepare future generations to help economies to compete in the global skills race.
Established in 1991 to provide private aviation-related training, EAC has since expanded to provide a full range of educational opportunities.-TradeArabia News Service