Similar to its role in assessing foreign higher education providers, KHDA’s Qualifications and Awards in Dubai will license all TVET providers and quality assure TVET qualifications.
It will work to ensure providers offer standardised and benchmarked qualifications that meet the needs of industry
Thani Al Mehairi, director general of the UAE’s National Qualifications Authority, said the initiative will connect sector stakeholders keen to improve the quality and reputation of vocational training in the country.
“We want our graduates to be work ready and to identify themselves as lifelong learners. These outcomes are very much reflected in QAD’s vision,” he commented.
QAD will work to ensure providers offer standardised and benchmarked qualifications that meet the needs of industry in the United Arab Emirates, in line with the government’s ambitious upskilling targets.
There are currently more than 800 approved TVET institutes in Dubai, according to KHDA, which offer courses ranging from foreign languages and computer training to engineering, banking and finance.
However, according to a Regional Work Study commissioned by Dubai International Academic City, just 1-3% of academic enrolments were in vocational courses in 2013 and there are skills gaps in 64 industries.
And a study by Deloitte last year estimated the UAE has a shortage of 200,000 skilled workers.
QAD will also be an awarding body issuing national vocational qualifications that will be recognised by the National Qualification Authority and the Vocational Education and Training Awards Council throughout the UAE.
KHDA director general, Abdulla Al Karam, underlined QAD’s role in giving both students and public and private industry peace of mind that they have skills to meet employers’ needs.
“Technical and vocation education students in Dubai want to know that their qualifications will set them on the right course to start a fulfilling career,” he said adding that “employers want to know that graduates have earned credentials that are quality assured.”