New national youth programme to focus on ‘4IR’

MUSCAT: With blessings from His Majesty Sultan Qaboos, Sayyid Khalid bin Hilal al Busaidy, Minister of the Diwan of Royal Court, on Tuesday launched the national programme for the development of youth skills. The programme focuses on the trends of the 4th industrial revolution (4IR). Applications for enrolment are open and the first training session will be held in August this year. In a statement, the Minister of the Diwan of Royal Court during his meeting with the consultancy team for the National Programme for Developing Youths Skills, which comprises a number of talented Omani youth, he stressed that the programme reflects the Royal care for youth as they form the core of national priorities.

The programme complements the national programmes promoted by the Diwan of Royal Court to cover vital sectors, such as public, private and youth sectors. The programmes target 3,000 male and female youngsters in the age category of 15-29 from different parts of the Sultanate. The two-year programme will raise awareness and knowledge of participants about ‘4IR’ ethics, skills and knowledge, as well as modern technologies used. The programme will follow two paths each of them targets a certain age category. Dr Ali bin Qassem bin Jawad, Adviser for Studies and Research at the Diwan of Royal Court, stressed the integration between the pathways of the national programmes promoted by the Diwan of Royal Court.

He said that the National Programme for Developing Youth Skills comes at an ideal time as the world is changing rapidly supported by the 4IR.
The programme provides rich learning experience that rehabilitate youth to cope with 4IR and its applications.
The programme includes two pathways, the first of which is dedicated to youngsters in the age category between 15 to 17 years. The participants will be trained on software, robots, logical thinking, digital media and digital citizenship.
The programme will launch creative skills of youth and deploy them in their daily lives. It also raises their awareness at an early stage of the challenges and opportunities provided by the new technology.
The pathway is implemented in cooperation with a number of international organisations, such as Ligo of Denmark, Firetech of UK and German University of Technology (Gutech) in Oman, in addition to a number of training companies.
The second pathway targets training youth in the age group of 18-29 years of 4IR ethics, skills and knowledge to achieve impressive leap at work. The programme includes a foundation stage in which participants will be trained on e-learning platform that offers its programmes for the first time in Oman. Those who successfully complete these programmes will be qualified to get what is called ‘NanoDegree’; a new kind of international certificate that focuses on learning 4IR technical skills.
The programme focuses on three majors namely data science, software and digital marketing. It will include weekly virtual and individual session to enhance learning at the different governorates. The stage aims at providing youth with e-learning culture which is one of the basic elements in the education future in the world. The foundation stage qualifies participants for the intensified programme at the second stage.
The initial stage will be followed by a six-week intensified training programme in the Sultanate — and abroad for outperforming trainees based on transparent and cumulative assessment process. The programme will focus on 4IR applications and knowledge, as well as citizenship in digital knowledge.
The programme will be implemented in Nanyang Technological University of Singapore, Ecole, Polytechnique Federal de Lausanne of Switzerland, in addition to other organisations.
After completing the learning experience, the participants will manage to develop their critical thinking skills, and negotiation skills, in addition to how to deal with challenges.
It should be noted that these skills cover the elements shown in The Future of Jobs report issued by World Economic Forum.
All applicants for the programme will be subject to fair, transparent and accurate testing process according to clear competitive criteria.
The testing process will be carried by an experienced independent organisation in the field of developing human resources and efficiencies that will carry out the selection and evaluation operation.
On the occasion of launch of the National Programme for Developing Youths Skills, Sayyid Khalid addressed the youth and urged them to benefit from this opportunity which opens doors for bright future.
He added that youth should be aware that their country is caring for them and rely on them to continue the blessed Renaissance march.
He also reminded them that success is associated with hard work and dedication.