Since the start of the pandemic, the speed of digitisation has been transformative, with few, if any, industries left untouched by AI and automation. While the world is adapting to new technologies, the global skills gap continues to grow – it’s predicted that half of all employees around the world will need reskilling by 2025.
A rapid skills revolution is required - and digital skills will be key. We can’t predict what technologies there will be in the future, but we do know that coding will be a fundamental skill for the digital economy. The UAE has long recognised the crucial role tech plays and laid out its vision to become one of the best ecosystems in the world for coders. Its National Program for Coders seeks to make the UAE the world’s foremost destination for coders and future innovators.
As part of this drive, the government wants to attract 100 coders every day to the UAE, offering up golden visas to 100,000 talented coders and has committed to train 10,000 young people to become computer programmers. Equipping young people with the skills for the ‘language of the future’ is essential for future success. These computer programmers will drive innovation, improve productivity, and streamline efficiencies to create more agile organisations.
No full stops here:
It will also become the new normal to embrace life-long learning. This is not only necessary to remain relevant with technologies, but also to foster innovation and entrepreneurship.
Driving this change is not solely the responsibility of the government - corporations, institutions and individuals are key to creating and nurturing a sustainable talent pipeline. At PwC’s Academy, we are working to prepare young people for the future workplace. We partnered with UK-based digital education pioneer, Code Nation, to introduce a number of courses tailored to professionals at each stage of their coding journey. Providing accessibility to upskilling programmes such as these will be critical in supporting the UAE on its journey to be a world-leading digital economy. We also need to think beyond technical skills. New technologies bring new challenges, requiring us to think differently about ethics, governance, and accountability. We need the understanding, knowledge, and skills to tackle ongoing issues – safeguarding privacy rights, ensuring inclusive technology and managing disinformation - to name a few. This also requires a culture and mindset change within organisations, and transformation in leadership to ensure the digital culture is embraced at all levels.
The UAE has all the elements to create a world-leading ecosystem for coders and a thriving digital economy - but skills development won’t be a quick fix. A culture of lifelong learning and continuous upskilling will lay the foundations for success in the digital age, creating long-lasting benefits for all.
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It all adds up to The New Equation.