UAE Introduces Groundbreaking AI Reskilling Initiative to Transform Workforce
Dubai, 18th October, 2023 – The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has announced a pioneering AI reskilling initiative aimed at equipping the country’s workforce with the necessary skills to adapt to the advancements in AI technology. Omar Sultan Al Olama, the Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications, unveiled this groundbreaking initiative during the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting of the Global Future Councils 2023.
The main objective of the initiative is to reskill, retool, and, if needed, retire UAE employees. Al Olama emphasized the importance of retooling workers who would be directly affected by AI, enabling them to utilize AI tools effectively. For individuals nearing retirement and not interested in reskilling, early retirement will be an option.
Al Olama explained that the government aims to offer comprehensive reskilling programs for workers who are part of job classes that will be completely displaced by AI. This forward-thinking approach ensures that these workers can acquire new skills and transition to job classes that will not be displaced by AI.
During the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting, participants also discussed various other important topics, including sustainable development, women empowerment, data equity, and the interconnectedness of climate and human development. Badr Jafar, the CEO of Crescent Enterprises, stressed the need to prioritize both the climate agenda and human development agenda in achieving progress without detriment to either. Nili Gilbert, the Vice-Chairwoman of Carbon Direct in the USA, echoed this sentiment, emphasizing the interconnectedness and interdependency of various challenges we face.
The importance of maintaining a focus on social and equity concerns alongside climate and environmental goals was reiterated by Gilbert. She asserted that addressing the climate challenge is impossible without simultaneously addressing these issues. Lauren Woodman, the CEO of DataKind in the USA, highlighted the significance of data equity in responding to social challenges, emphasizing the need for technology to remain human-centered. Reshma Saujani, the Founder and CEO of Moms First, emphasized the empowerment of women in future-oriented fields such as AI and highlighted the need to address broken structures of care prevalent in many countries.
The Annual Meeting of the Global Future Councils 2023, held in Dubai from 16-18 October, provided a crucial platform for experts from academia, government, international organizations, business, and civil society to collaborate on innovative solutions for economic growth and development. With 600 experts and representatives from the world’s foremost multidisciplinary knowledge network, the event facilitated important discussions and propelled progress in various fields.
The UAE’s AI reskilling initiative marks an unprecedented step towards preparing the workforce for the evolving demands of the digital era. By empowering employees with the necessary skills, the country aims to thrive in the age of AI while ensuring a smooth transition for workers affected by technological advancements. This forward-thinking approach demonstrates the UAE’s commitment to shaping a resilient, adaptable, and future-ready workforce capable of harnessing the potential of AI for sustainable economic growth.