Majid Al Futtaim, the leading shopping mall, retail and leisure pioneer across the Middle East and North Africa is set to boost educational support for the growing retail sector in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), by joining forces with the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) to establish a retail academy and industry consortium.
The initiative will be undertaken by the Majid Al Futtaim Charity Foundation, a private independent entity specialised in charitable and philanthropic educational and healthcare activities in the UAE, and HCT’s commercial arm, the Centre of Excellence for Applied Research and Training (CERT).
The aim of the retail academy will be to help launch and advance retail careers of Emiratis, while also supporting the country’s fast growing retail sector, which now accounts for 20% of the UAE’s non-oil GDP and employs 20% of the workforce. HCT/ CERT and Majid Al Futtaim Charity Foundation will work together to leverage support of leading international academic institutions to help develop the first national level institution providing best in class education and training for the sector.
To support the retail academy initiative the Foundation and HCT will seek to establish a retail consortium, made-up of leading retailers, education institutions, in addition to chambers of commerce and government representatives, to provide guidance for industry skills training and ensure long term sustainability of the academy.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop these initiatives further was signed in by Dr Tayeb Kamali, Vice Chancellor of the Higher Colleges of Technology and Dr Najib Al Khaja, Board Member and CEO of Majid Al Futtaim Charity Foundation.
Speaking at the signing ceremony Dr Najib Al Khaja, said: “Increased consumer confidence and a rise in tourism growth are helping to drive the UAE’s rapid emergence as a global retail destination. We recognise that there is a need to develop formal educational opportunities and provide vocational training in the retail sector and believe these exciting initiatives will help to ensure the UAE has a future pool of well-trained retail talent is able to fill the growing demand from retailers.”
Dr Tayeb Kamali thanked the Majid Al Futtaim Charity Foundation. He said: “This partnership will result in empowering our graduates with the knowledge, skills and confidence to contribute effectively to our nation and its growing diversified economy and lead them to successful future careers in retail. This is an example of the strong links between HCT/CERT and industry partners which result in career-oriented programmes to meet the specific needs of our modern society and also provide the highest quality educational opportunities for young people throughout our nation, so that they can become valuable members of their communities. We are pleased to be working closely with the Majid Al Futtaim Charity Foundation and it is through collaborations such as this that we are able to give students an unparalleled advantage in the workplace.”