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Just the job: US entrepreneur Ron Bruder

As the Arab world grapples with the dilemma of creating 200 million new jobs for youth, employers complain of a widening skills gap. US entrepreneur Ron Bruder says his Education for Employment (EFE) foundation, which recently won the support of the UAE and Saudi governments, is pushing universities towards a “tipping point” where they will no longer be able to produce unemployable graduates.

University degree in hand, you turn up to a job interview and expect to be at least a few notches in front of the competition, right? Wrong.

“The reality is, in most [Middle Eastern] countries, the skills that you get at college are not relevant to the workforce. Unemployment is almost double… amongst college grads compared to high school grads,” Ron Bruder says, laying out the unsettling truth that few other than employers and graduates understand.

“So, you go to university for years, you get good grades, [but] at the end of the day you end up in a worse position — higher expectations and lower reality.”

The problem, he says, is that university degrees typically provide information — often impressed on students via rote learning — without teaching how to problem solve, think creatively and be innovative. In today’s world, those are critical skills. But the emphasis has become even more pronounced as governments have tried to push nationals off their payroll and into the private sector — a far more demanding environment… more

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