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UAE launches program to reskill workers for AI-driven future

The initiative aims to reskill and retool UAE employees.

UAE launches program to reskill workers for AI-driven future
[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

Employees worldwide are struggling to keep up with the fast development of AI tech, and in turn, are feeling overwhelmed and anxious about the future of work.

When it comes to advancing the automation of jobs, many are almost twice as anxious as they are excited. They believe that AI will destroy more jobs than it creates.

But if we envision positive potential outcomes, we can plan accordingly by discussing how to best point ourselves in their direction. 

Giving a practical guide to think seriously about future-of-work solutions and, helping foster constructive conversation also provides some relief from anxiety.

In an effort to curb those concerns, UAE Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications Omar Sultan Al Olama announced an initiative to empower the UAE workforce to keep pace with developments in AI technology at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting of the Global Future Councils 2023.

“If someone is going to be augmented by AI, we want to retool them to actually be able to use these tools, and if someone is a year or two from retirement and has no interest in retooling, they have the option of retiring early,” said  Al Olama.

Explaining the initiative, Al Olama said: “If people are part of a job class that is going to be completely displaced by AI, you need to provide government programs that will completely reskill them in a new job class that is not going to be displaced.”

The initiative is a sign of the UAE’s commitment to preparing its workforce for the future of work, which is increasingly being shaped by AI. The UAE is not alone in this effort, as other countries around the world are also taking steps to reskill and retool their workers for the AI age.

At the annual meeting, leaders also discussed the challenges and interconnectedness of sustainable development, women empowerment, data equity, and climate and human development.

Reshma Saujani, CEO of Moms First stressed the importance of empowering women in AI and other future-oriented fields. She noted that many women live in countries with a broken system of care, which can make it difficult for them to participate in the workforce.

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