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GESS Dubai to shed light on youth sector’s untapped potential towards region’s future prosperity

GESS Dubai has gathered international experts to shed light on the untapped potential of the Middle East’s youth sector as active contributors to the region’s future prosperity.

Scheduled to speak at the show’s Global Education Forum (GEF), Harry Patrinos, Leading Education Economist, The World Bank, will speak about “What Works in Education to Get Economies Moving and to Sustain Growth?”

On its 8th edition, the forum has adopted the theme Modern Education Strategy to Improve Economic Growth, which aims to address the widening gap between youth skills and employment opportunities throughout the region.

“The Middle East has a large and growing youth population that remains largely untapped. By shedding light on what can be done to address this gap, we hope the forum can contribute to developing innovative action plans that will enable educational institutions to equip young people the skills that they need to get employed,” said Matt Thompson, Project Director, F&E Group, organisers of GESS Dubai and the Global Education Forum, which will take place from 24-26 February 2015 at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

According to a recent study*, “a well-educated youth sector can be harnessed for long-term, economic growth. With over 28% of the MENA population is aged 15 to 29 – a total of 108 million individuals across 22 countries; MENA’s young population has the potential to unlock new, innovative ideas and quickly adapt to the rapidly changing digital world, increasing economic efficiency.”

Experts and stakeholders attending the region’s premier educational show and conference are expected to call on decision-makers to develop action plans that will help the region’s youth acquire the necessary skills to actively contribute to their local economies, by generating enough employment opportunities that will provide 84 million jobs for unemployed youth.

Education will be a critical factor in the mammoth task of job creation, with the International Monetary Fund saying in a 2014 report that “economic diversification and stimulation can be achieved by enhancing the quality of education”.

Meanwhile, GESS Dubai organisers also announced that a comprehensive outlook on the education sector will be revealed at the forum, through a report that will be presented by Ahmed Mansoor, Director, Healthcare, Education & PPP, Colliers International. Entitled the Dubai Education Overview: Growth Potential in a Competitive Environment, the report highlights the critical factors that will impact the growth of the education market in Dubai.

“In the last decade, the private education sector in Dubai has witnessed significant growth; doubling enrolment figures and introducing additional supply. With demand anticipated to increase as the Emirati and expat population grows, an additional 52 new schools will be required in the Emirate by 2020 - which in turn will increase the competitive landscape within the market,” explained Mansoor.

These and other presentations by over 100 education experts from all over the world are free to attend for the public, who will also get a glimpse of the latest innovative products and solutions for the education market from 400 local and international exhibitors.

“Teachers visiting the show can gain valuable CPD credits which they can use for professional advancement, making it an event worth visiting for thousands of teachers in schools all over the region,” added Thompson.

Those interested in attending the show are encouraged to register early via the website at www.gesseducation.com.

*Challenges and Opportunities for Youth Unemployment in the Middle East and North Africa, a study published by Education for Employment (EFE), an international network of autonomous not-for-profit organisations established to address youth employment challenges in the Middle East and North Africa.