New workplace guidebook for students launches in the Emirates

14 February 2020 3 min. read

A free careers book for students has been launched in the Emirates with the support of professional services firms Grant Thornton and PwC.

Professional training organisation PDSi has launched ‘The Possibilities Project’ in the UAE, a book aimed at helping students gain a better understanding of the skills and behaviours required for the workplace. The free book has been produced with the support of professional services firms Grant Thornton UAE and PwC, and features contributors from a range of business executives and thought-leaders.

“Schools and universities alone can’t prepare young people for success at work – it takes a village,” said author and PDSi managing director Dawn Metcalfe. “We’ve been overwhelmed by the support from the business community in helping us produce this book, but we believe we have a long way to go. Our mission is to grow the ecosystem of organisations who are committed to shaping the UAE’s future workforce.”

According to a press release, The Possibilities Project was devised in response to recent research among 300 recruitment professionals in the UAE which found that seven in ten believed graduate job-seekers were unprepared for the workplace. Further to that, almost 80 percent agreed that employees with good soft skills are more productive, while two thirds felt that such skills are required at all senior levels.

New workplace guidebook for students launches in the Emirates

According to the study, the three most desired skills cited by employers for the future workplace were in order  creativity, problem solving, and decision-making, as well as of course digital aptitude. As such, the book has an emphasis on the development of such skills, covering areas such as communication, presentation skills, online safety, networking, entrepreneurship, resilience, and navigating change.

“We live in rapidly changing times, where modern technologies have completely changed the scene,” said Noura Al Kaabi, UAE Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, one of the guide’s nineteen high-profile contributors. “Jobs that are currently on the market may not be available in the future, therefore, we must prepare our youth by providing them with the skills required to excel in the workplace.”

Alongside Sarah Bahar, project founder and Head of Communication & Engagement at PDSi, other contributors to ‘The Possibilities Project’ include Muna Al Gurg, Director of Retail at Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group, Isobel Abulhoul, founder of launch partner The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, and Walid Fakih, General Manager at McDonald’s UAE, which alongside Grant Thornton and PwC also provided support.

The trio’s sponsorship has ensured an initial print run of 10,000 copies will be distributed across the UAE, with The Possibilities Project also available as a free download online. “At PDSi we work with businesses from every sector imaginable and they all have one thing in common: people. There is, and always has been, a need for great people and, despite the robots, that won’t go away,” concluded Metcalfe.