Education for Employment
The Arab World is overwhelmingly young with the highest youth unemployment in the world. Recent events across the region have amplified the social and economic disconnect between skills, jobs, and opportunity. Education for Employment (e4e) is an initiative headed by IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the Islamic Development Bank. Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan is the Honorary Chair of this initiative, which is focused on positioning education as a major priority to drive improved employment prospects.
As part of this initiative, a report, "Education for Employment: Realizing Arab Youth Potential" is to be released in April 2011 and will include existing research, new regional analysis, and country-specific case studies covering labor market needs, education service provision, and barriers to private sector engagement. The report also explores how the private sector can contribute to meeting the deficit of skills and opportunity and identifies what steps would be required for these activities to flourish.
Beyond data analysis, the initiative has engaged all key stakeholders, including public and private education providers, civil society, public sector policymakers and administrators, private employers, and the youth themselves in order to understand each of their perspectives. In total, the report carried out more than 200 in-depth interviews and surveyed 1,500 employers and 1,500 young people in nine priority countries. The countries included three middle- income economies: Morocco, Egypt, and Jordan; three oil producing economies: Algeria, Oman, and Saudi Arabia, accounting for approximately 70 percent of its population and 60 percent of its GDP. The other countries covered were Iraq, West Bank and Gaza, and Yemen.
The initiative is brought together by IFC, the largest multilateral investor in the private education sector in emerging and developing countries, and the IsDB, a development organization providing shari'ah-compatible funding and technical assistance to the Islamic world.