Crescent Petroleum, the Middle East’s first and largest private oil and gas company, has partnered with Edraak, the Arab world’s leading platform for massive open online courses (MOOCs), to develop a series open and free online career preparation courses to bridge the gap between skills acquired in school or university and those required by the job market. The courses target more than 500,000 young people across the Middle East.
The Career Readiness specialization, which will be launched in 2020, offers three successive courses: English for the Workplace, Digital Literacy for the Workplace and Business Essentials. All three courses aim to equip potential young job seekers with the basic communication and work skills required in the modern workplace. For UAE students, the program will support government efforts to prepare young Emiratis for work in the modern workplace.
Industry research has found that the biggest barrier to youth employment is the soft skills required in modern office life. Edraak’s MOOC technology offers a series of courses that can serve tens of thousands of young learners across the region via tailored tracks, equipping them with the professional skills needed to effectively enter and compete in the workforce.
Edraak’s English for the Workplace course will cover basic workplace communication, including writing emails, memos, note-taking and research. Edraak will develop the course in collaboration with the British Council to provide world-class content.
Meanwhile, the Digital Literacy for the Workplace course covers the basics of the MS Office suite and details the use of MS Word, MS PowerPoint and MS Excel.
The final course, Business Essentials, will introduce learners to the concepts of business etiquette, emotional intelligence, performance and self-management, and workplace culture and dynamics. Learners who successfully complete all three courses will be better prepared to work in modern offices and will receive a certificate of completion.
Hassan Fattah, Director of Communications at Crescent Petroleum, said: “As policymakers and business leaders in the MENA region tackle the challenges of youth unemployment, it is essential that we step up our efforts to develop life skills and soft skills for the modern workplace. Since our inception in 1971, Crescent Petroleum has leveraged its understanding of the Middle East to promote cleaner energy and social sustainability, and our partnership with Edraak is an extension of this core mission.
“This collaboration will help young people develop the important skills needed to grow, succeed and enter the workforce better prepared,” he added.
The collaboration reinforces Edraak’s mission to deliver high quality online education in Arabic and present solutions to the educational challenges of the region. Edraak CEO Shireen Yacoub said, “It’s wonderful to see companies like Crescent Petroleum recognize the value of innovative educational solutions and commit to creating such opportunities at scale. The unique perspectives of these large private sector organizations allow us to continually improve the learning experiences we offer on Edraak and enhance their relevance to current labor market needs.
Jordan’s National Director at the British Council, Joel Bubbers, commented on the second collaboration between Crescent Petroleum, Edraak and the Council, saying: “We are delighted to put our experience to work on this project to help young people across the country. region to develop the English language and the soft skills they need to be successful in the modern workplace. At the British Council, we are passionate about inspiring hope in young people by giving them the opportunity to acquire the skills they need to be competitive in today’s global marketplace.
“Our aim is to provide educational and cultural opportunities, and our 80 years in the MENA region have shown us the power of this mission to help young people realize their potential and, therefore, to effect positive change in their societies.” , explained Bubbers.
Crescent Petroleum and Edraak had previously collaborated to launch a series of online English courses, which reached over 500,000 people across the MENA region. These courses provided learners with the basic knowledge and skills to communicate in English and to pursue additional self-directed learning.
Building on Edraak’s five-year experience, the Career Readiness specialization is set to become a pioneering online initiative that effectively prepares young people for the job market.