On May 27, Sky News Arabia conducted an interview with EFE Founder & Chair Ron Bruder on the issue of youth unemployment and women’s unemployment in the Middle East and North Africa.

When asked what EFE has done to correct the mismatch between the skills that employers desire and the skills that candidates possess, Ron highlighted the many courses that EFE offers in Resume and CV writing and interviewing, as well as employability and skills training. Ron also highlighted that the majority of EFE graduates are women, and stated the importance of having women entering the workforce, as they serve as the foundation for the next generation.

 

On Friday, May 22nd, EFE Founder and Chair Ron Bruder joined John J. Haley, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Towers Watson, USA and other panelists at the King Hussein Bin Talal Convention Center in Jordan to discuss youth unemployment, the role of the private sector in MENA economic growth, and how to advance shared understanding and action with regards to creating opportunities for disadvantaged youth in the region.

The panel was moderated by Zeina Soufan, a Senior Business Presenter at DubaiTV, and was an important opportunity to present EFE’s mission to empower youth across MENA by giving them access to jobs.

More information on the WEF MENA forum can be found here.

On May 21st, members of the Associated Press ran an article featuring EFE as a model for addressing the youth unemployment crisis in the MENA region.

The article focused specifically on the unemployment crisis in Jordan and how cultural factors contribute to the large numbers of unemployed youth, especially young women. It also highlights the impact that Jordan EFE has achieved, noting its 85% job placement rate for program graduates.

According to EFE Founder & Chair Ron Bruder, quoted in the article, much of this unemployment is due to lack of funding for targeted training programs that equip youth with skills that employers demand and the market requires, which is the basis of EFE’s training programs around the world.

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In an article appearing on the “Agenda” blog of the World Economic Forum on May 21st, EFE Founder & Chair Ron Bruder writes about some of the obstacles that women in the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region face when it comes to entering the workforce, and what can be done to overcome them.

With less than 1 in 5 adult women employed across MENA, Ron emphasized that there is much work that still needs to be done, especially in acquiring relevant data so as to better understand the problem. In the coming months, EFE will be partnering with Bayt.com and YouGov in an attempt to examine the differences in the expectations of employers and first-time female job seekers in hopes of informing appropriate and effective responses to this issue.

According to Ron, “The low level of female economic engagement reflects and profoundly influences the personal choices and family dynamics of many women in the MENA region.” Cultural and religious barriers often present significant challenges for women seeking to enter the workforce, with many choosing instead to stay at home and occupy more traditional roles. However, increasing the amount of women working would have a significant positive impact and a country’s GDP and stimulate immense economic growth, which is a crucial reason why programs like EFE have focused on training and employing young women.

While women in the region have made much progress, much more still needs to be done to adequately address the economic crisis in the region. Much of this involves capitalizing on opportunities that are available and providing funding for training programs as well as safe transportation and work environments in order to facilitate women’s continued and successful entry into the workforce.

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In an article appearing in Bloomberg Businessweek on May 21, EFE was cited as instrumental in the fight against high unemployment in the MENA region. The article spoke about EFE’s work in training engineering students in Gaza as well as thousands of others in various skills across the MENA region.

The article indicates that, “Ron Bruder, founder and chair of Education for Employment (EFE), has given up more than most from the business community to tackle the problem. Bruder left behind a successful career in real estate, travel, pharmaceuticals and energy to focus on the fight against youth unemployment in the Middle East and North Africa.” Ron is quoted saying, “you have a mismatch between what the youths are being trained to do and the needs of the market.”

The article also discusses the upcoming World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting dealing with the youth unemployment challenge. Ron Bruder will speak at the event to share EFE’s model for linking youth to jobs.

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