The Egyptian government, through the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA), is offering 100,000 scholarships to Egyptian youths to help scale up their digital skills.
The sponsorships, announced in May, are part of ITIDA’s partnership with Udacity, a frontier online training platform that equips the world’s workforce with skills for future careers. Egypt joins a growing list of countries like Pakistan, that have been organising training programmes for their populace to help combat the rampant unemployment that has plagued most countries due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
According to TIEC, the program, aptly named “Future Work is Digital-fwd” is an 18-month course focused on skills such as web development, data analytics and digital marketing. Learners will be provided access to Udacity’s online learning classroom, online support webinars, expert-reviewed projects, experienced career mentors as well as an interactive peer-to-peer experience.
Each course is subdivided into 4 scalable categories; Challenge, Professional, Advanced and Outstanding that will guide the learners through a series of modules to help them upskill their capabilities. Access and registration for the scholarship is through a website set up by the ITIDA to help the learners easily select their field of choice and their skill level.
The scholarships are completely free and are geared towards providing youth with the latest skills in tech as well as in other fields that are on-demand in the job market. This strategy is part of the larger efforts of the Egyptian Communication and Information Technology (CIT) ministry to nurture local talent while increasing the size of the country’s formally educated workforce. The program will make special emphasis on the freelance market, equipping the youth with remote work skills to help them find success in digital marketplaces.
This attention on freelancing is an informed decision on the part of the government, as the COVID-19 crisis has greatly increased the demand for freelancers all over the world. In addition, one of the leading talent marketplaces in MENA, Ureed.com, draws its largest freelance base from Egypt, which highlights the need for training programs like this one to help advance their careers.
Former CEO of ITIDA Hala El-Gohary explained that the programme is an opportunity for the youth to gain free nanodegrees to help them become better suited for a world that is going all-digital.
“It has never been a better time to launch such an initiative as COVID-19 is expected to make the freelance market grow rapidly, and will push organizations and governments to accelerate the adoption of digital services, thus the demand for gigs and remote work opportunities will soar,” she added.