DUBAI, Coursera, an online learning platform, today announced its expansion into the Middle East region during an event in Dubai.

According to the World Bank, a 31 percent youth unemployment rate on a population base of 300 million people exists across the Middle East, and with an ambition to shift to a knowledge-based economy, there is an urgency to upskill the workforce across the region.

As such, the company also launched its enterprise platform 'Coursera for Business' to partner with leading government and private organisations including the Abu Dhabi School of Government, ADSG, DEWA, Etihad Airways, TECOM Group, and Dubai Asset Management on their workforce development goals.

Coursera will also be opening an office in Abu Dhabi to better serve the region. Its growth strategy for the Middle East includes working with both public and private companies to upskill local talent in the fields of machine learning, artificial intelligence, blockchain, software development and more.

"The Middle East is going through a major economic transition, shifting its industrial base from natural resources to one driven by technology and innovation," said Leah Belsky, Vice President of Enterprise at Coursera. "We're looking forward to partnering with government and major employers to develop a talent base that can realise the region's ambition to emerge as a knowledge-powered economy."

Coursera for Business will help deliver enterprise learning solutions that help companies meet modern business challenges by developing superior business, technology, and data skills, drawn from a course catalog designed and delivered by 170 of the world's top universities and industry educators. To make the content more accessible, 70 courses will be offered with Arabic subtitles and 30 fully translated.

Coursera has kicked off its expansion in the region with a number of strategic customers. Most notable among those is an ambitious partnership with the Abu Dhabi School of Government (ADSG) to train 60,000 government employees on cutting-edge skills like data science, Artificial Intelligence, and digital transformation. This is Coursera's largest partnership to date and establishes a new global model for public sector skills transformation.

"Training tomorrow's leaders with globally-relevant skills is crucial for Abu Dhabi's investment in the future and the UAE's achievement of 'Ghadan 21'. This partnership with Coursera provides the ability to simultaneously upskill every employee in the Abu Dhabi government," said Solveig Nicklos, Dean of the Abu Dhabi School of Government.

The need for continuous workplace learning and development has never been more urgent. In today's ever-shifting technology landscape, industry-specific skills can go from relevant to obsolete in a short timespan. The Middle East Online Education market is expected to expand at a CAGR of 9.8 percent during the forecast period 2017-2023. The market growth is likely to be driven by the huge government investment and rapid adoption of online education and e-learning by educational institutes and corporate organisations.

Source: Emirates News Agency