August 14, 2018
With the blessing of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, the Diwan of Royal Court launched Al Shabab Scheme of the first edition of the National Youth Program for Skills Development.
During the launching event, His Excellency Dr. Ali Qassim Jawad Al-Lawati, Advisor for Studies and Research to the Diwan of Royal Court and Chairman of the National Youth Program for Skills Development, delivered a speech in which he said: “This program reaffirms that the youth are at the top of the priorities of His Majesty the Sultan who granted his royal blessing to the program since its conception, and instructed that it be implemented with the highest levels of professionalism to achieve the desired benefits. The Royal Court hence adopted this work, and the program was designed with constant follow-up by the Minister of the Diwan to ensure it reflects the intended purposes of His Majesty the Sultan”, adding that it would not have been possible for a thousand participants to join the program at once were it not for the modern technologies produced by the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR).
His Excellency further stressed that marching toward the future requires knowledge and power of mind, and that the purpose is not only to master the use of technology, but to contribute to its innovation. He also urged participants to innovate and continue learning, hoping that this program will constitute a great step forward and the foundation for an ongoing and constantly renewed path, as knowledge quickly becomes obsolete and is always replaced, hence the need for continuous learning and self-development.”
The program focuses on the attitudes, skills and knowledge associated with the 4IR, and it was launched through a cyber-session attended by 1000 participants in line with the nature of the first stage of the scheme, in which participants will learn the skills of the 4th Industrial Revolution through a virtual platform. Al Shabab Scheme starts with 1000 youths aged 18 to 29 years old, from across the Sultanate’s Governorates, and will include an initial three-month foundation stage based on training delivered through Udacity’s global virtual learning platform. Successful participants will achieve a Nanodegree, which is a new type of global certification designed specifically for 4IR skills development. This stage focuses on three Nanodegree courses: data foundations, introduction to programming and digital marketing. It will also be supported by virtual connect sessions. This stage aims at equipping the youth with the e-learning culture which is one of the essential elements in the future of education in the world.
Successful participants in the initial stage will undergo assessment in order to qualify for stage two, which will consist of an enriching educational experience in Oman and abroad, in collaboration with a number of global and local universities and institutions, aimed at benefiting from successful international experiences and adapting them to serve the prosperity of the knowledge-based and digital economy in the Sultanate. The assessment and selection of participants in the program followed a rigorous and impartial methodology in accordance with clear competitive criteria. It was conducted by an independent institution with expertise in the field of competency development and human resources development.
Applying to Al Shabab Scheme was open to all youths aged 18 to 29 years old. More than 11,000 young Omanis from across the Sultanate applied to join the program, and they were subjected to several online tests in evaluation centers across the Sultanate’s Governorates in order to select 1,000 participants for stage one.
The National Youth Program for Skills Development targets 3000 young Omanis from across the Sultanate’s Governorates, aged between 15 and 29 years. It will be implemented over two years in order to empower Omani youths and help them develop the attitudes, skills and knowledge needed for success in future fields of work, for them to be ready for the 4IR.