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It was announced the official launch of the groundbreaking Tamayyaz program, a long-term higher education initiative designed to refine skills for employability created through a partnership between PADICO HOLDING, Sharek Youth Forum, the International Youth Foundation (IYF), and with cooperation from local universities.
The launch event was attended by H.E. Prime Minister Dr. Salam Fayyad, and was hosted by Mr. MunibR. Masri – Chairman of PADICO HOLDING, Mr. Samir Hulileh – CEO of PADICO HOLDING, Dr. Mohammed al Mbaid – Country Director of IYF, Mr. Bader Zamareh – Executive Director of Sharek Youth Forum, Dr. Rami Hamdallah – President of An-Najah National University, Dr. Ibrahim Masri – President of Palestine Polytechnic University,Mr. MunirQleibo – local representative of the International Labor Organization, and Hasan Qasem – Chairman of the Palestinian IT Association of Companies (PITA).
There has never been a better time for the launch of such a program, given that the unemployment rate among graduates has reached 50.5% during the first quarter of the year 2012, according to the Palestinian Bureau of Statistics. Mr. Munib Masri emphasized that growing unemployment among the youth is not only the concern of the government. The private sector, he explained, is also worried about the effect this unemployment will have on the growth of the economy as well as the country’s ability to compete with others in the region and in the international community.
Mr. Samir Hulileh noted, “The timing is unquestionably right for such an all-hands-on-deck approach to combating factors that aid our severe socio-economic predicament. Through Tamayyaz, private sector, government, and civil society are joining together to respond to the needs and aspirations of the youth. It is the responsibility of today’s leaders to provide youth with the tools, motivation, and support needed to fulfill their potential and contribute to a real, sustainable economic future in Palestine.”
Speaking at the event, Dr. Salam Fayyad stated that the Tamayyaz program is strategic and positive activism and is in conformation with the government’s agenda, an agenda that recognizes addressing the needs of the youth and confronting the adversity they face as a top priority.
Dr. Mohammad Al Mbaid asserted that, “Far too often, graduates complete university studies that are lacking in strategic, targeted courses that correlate to and compliment the local market realities. Therefore, after extensive engagement with various experts and community stakeholders, and drawing on international models and standards – including from the many regions and markets in which IYF operates and thus has firsthand knowledge, the Tamayyaz initiative was carefully designed and is now ready for implementation.”
Tamayyaz will supplement and enhance university programs through introducing a pioneering set of training courses for a select group of eligible students. Mr. Bader Zamareh highlighted that “the Program will feature such diverse themes as career counseling and guidance, soft and hard skills training (communication skills, critical thinking, ICT literacy, English proficiency, etc.), leadership skills, community service, and project management. Additionally, there will be a series of guest lectures by international business experts and community leaders. Furthermore, following graduation from university, the participating students will have the opportunity to undertake an internship with PADICO HOLDING and its subsidiary an affiliate companies to receive hands-on job training, or will be provided with entrepreneurship mentoring to embark on independent ventures. In the end, the participants will be well-prepared to meaningfully contribute to their community and economy.”
In its first year, Tamayyaz targets 240 students from three Palestinian universities in the third and fourth academic years. The program aims to empower university students by addressing the acute gap that persists between the skills they gain from their university academic programming, and the skills the Palestinian work force demands.
The pilot phase of the project will be implemented through An-Najah and Palestine Polytechnic universities – with whom two agreements were signed at the launch on Wednesday, September 19. The Tamayyaz initiative is also currently in discussion with Birzeit University, and anticipates expanding the program to all Palestinian universities in the future.
The Tamayyaz partners continue to seek additional partnerships across all sectors in Palestine – including the private and public sectors as well as civil society. The more diverse and inclusive the participation and cooperation on Tamayyaz is, the more successful and effective the program will prove to be.