The Swiss Pavilion sheds light on the importance of Technical and Vocational Education & Training in collaboration with UAE experts

Dubai, December 16 2021: The Swiss Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai in collaboration with Swissnex and in partnership with Swiss and Emirati partners and speakers, organized the Knowledge and Learning Focus Week between 12 and 15 December 2021. The event focused on the importance of adopting Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) system to create and secure more job opportunities for youth.

The key partners of this event included the State Secretariat of Education, Research and Innovation (SERI), the Swiss federal government’s specialized agency for education, research and innovation nationally and globally, Emirates Skills, formed to plant the seed of TVET for a sustainable knowledge-based economy in the UAE, the Swiss Federal University for Vocational Education and Training (SFUVET), Switzerland’s expert organization for vocational education and training, SwissSkills, promoters of skills related championships, and Ethafa, a spin-off of the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI).

During the week, visitors got the opportunity to interact with TVET alumni from Switzerland and also learn from the success stories of young professionals. The Swiss mission is to elaborate on how vocational education can provide youth with flexible learning skills and a mind-set adapted to lifelong learning.

Mr. Dante Larini, Project Manager of Swissnex at the Swiss Pavilion said: “Workplace environments, particularly after the COVID pandemic, are going through an evolutionary phase and are headed towards a paradigm change. Technology is also keeping pace, or is ahead of this transition curve, particularly in the wake of the 4IR tech. It is extremely important to look at what all this entails for TVET in this backdrop of change and reinforce its global significance in helping millions acquire gainful learning.”

 Mr. Ali Mohamed Al Marzouqi, President, Emirates Skills,said: “The UAE and Switzerland through exchange programmes have collaborated in TVET. The UAE is a pioneer in the region on TVET, consistently introducing and developing programmes that focus on future workplace challenges aimed at achieving a sustainable and diversified knowledge-based economy.”

Experts from Abu Dhabi Centre for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (ACTIVET) shared their insights during the week. A friendly jewellery making competition to reinforce Swiss- UAE TVET partnership was also held.

The Swiss Pavilion was honored to host the UAE Minister of Education, H.E. Hussain bin Ibrahim Al Hammad and the Bahrain Minister of Education, HE Majid bin Ali Al-Nuaimi during the Learning and Knowledge week of Expo 2020 and to discuss how TVET can be embedded within the mainstream education system since it has been proven that providing work-related skills is central to tackling unemployment.

An Oman-Swiss TVET Exchange workshop was held in which representatives of the Oman Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation took part. The purpose of this event was to share best practices from Oman and Switzerland with regards to TVET.

Another workshop was held by Ethafa, the project which was started to explore ways to bridge the gap in tech education and engage more Arabic girls in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) disciplines. The Ethafa formula focuses on cultural diversity, teaching technology within a local cultural context, developing diversity and territorial awareness among kids, among others, to grow the next generation ready for the digital transformation and the future job market. The day closed with a visit from the Minister of Labour and Education of Lombardy, Mrs. Melania Rizzoli.

A UAE-Swiss TVET Exchange to share best practices from the UAE and Switzerland was the highlight of December 14, and on the last day, a panel discussion moderated by the media partner, SWI swissinfo.ch, was held which discussed the challenges before TVET in the time of huge technological leaps, particularly 4IR.

Participants at this discussion included experts from the Swiss Federal University for Vocational Education and Training (SFUVET), Emirates Skills, State Secretariat of Education, Research, and Innovation (SERI) and Emirati and Swiss TVET alumni.

Emirates Skills was created to plant the seed of TVET and contribute to the fulfillment of the ultimate goal of a sustainable knowledge-based economy for the futuristic UAE.

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About Swiss Pavilion:
Switzerland was the first country to confirm its participation in the Expo 2020 Dubai. The Swiss Pavilion offers a unique encounter with Switzerland. It highlights Switzerland as a country of scenic beauty and a leading hub of technology and innovation by presenting the excellence of Swiss universities, start-ups and companies as well as creating joint events with local partners.

The Swiss Pavilion relies on a public-private partnership model. It promotes Switzerland’s economic capacity and attractiveness to the UAE – the most important trading partner in the Middle East. It turns the spotlight on its high-quality products and services together with its partners Schindler, Rolex SA, Switzerland Tourism, Roche, Clariant, Novartis, Nestlé, and KGS Diamond Group Ltd and suppliers. Presence Switzerland oversees the Swiss Pavilion. It is the unit of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, which is responsible for Switzerland’s image abroad and Switzerland’s official presence in international events, such as World Expos.

The selected project ‘Reflections’ was designed by the Swiss project team OOS AG (architecture), Bellprat Partner AG (scenography) and Lorenz Eugster Landscaping GmbH (landscaping) and built by General contractor Expomobilia.