Pearson, the world’s largest education company, plans to implement major expansion in Egypt. “The economic and social revitalisation of Egypt could be aided by increased investment in work-readiness training”, says Christine Ozden, the Middle East, Africa and Caribbean President of Pearson.
Ms Ozden, who was speaking at the British-Egyptian Society’s Education Conference, emphasised the need for governments and education providers to ensure students are not only receiving high quality theoretical and knowledge based education, but also the skills they need to thrive in a workplace environment and become immediately valuable to their employers.
A survey conducted by the World Bank indicated the skills of workers in Egypt are often mismatched with the needs of private business. Fifty per cent of the private firms interviewed for the Bank’s report identified a disparity between students’ skills provided by the formal education system and the skills needed by the labor market as a constraint to business development. Ms Ozden says this shortage can be addressed by providing qualifications that give graduates not only with the knowledge they need for a successful career, but also the attitudes and behaviors.
She says: “Employers are clear when they describe the skills they need in potential employees: basic literacy and numeracy, the ability to work well with others, good interpersonal skills, a good attitude to work and increasingly, a good grasp of the English language.
This problem is not unique to Egypt -businesses all over the world tell us that they find it hard finding employees who are job ready. That is why we ensure our qualifications – like the BTECs – are developed closely with industry.