Crescent Enterprises, a UAE-based conglomerate operating across multiple core sectors of the global economy, has partnered as a founding Gulf supporter for EFE to scale up employment programmers for Arab youth across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), and provide EFE with ongoing strategic guidance and networking support. As part of the cooperation agreement signed by Badr Jafar, Chief Executive Officer of Crescent Enterprises and Managing Director of Crescent Group, and Ron Bruder, Chairman and Founder of EFE, Crescent Enterprises will support EFE in establishing its presence in the UAE and throughout the Gulf region.
As an international network of affiliated nonprofit organizations dedicated to creating economic opportunities for unemployed, high-potential youth in the Middle East and North Africa, the recent expansion of EFE's Middle East operations comes at a crucial time, with youth unemployment continuing to rise throughout the region. According to the "International Labor Organization's Global Employment Trends 2013" report, the Middle East has the highest regional rate of youth unemployment at 28.3%, a figure that is expected to reach 30% by 2018 if no immediate action is taken. North Africa's rate was also at a high of 23.7%; underscoring the need for a new approach to addressing this challenge in the region as a whole, as well as the timeliness of this partnership.
The partnership will see the two organizations explore opportunities to jointly recruit, train and place young Arabs within Crescent Group companies. EFE will also explore offering custom training programmers for specific job profiles to meet the needs of the Crescent Group companies, as well as provide job support to new employees sourced through EFE, ensuring a smooth transition into the workplace.
Badr Jafar, Chief Executive Officer of Crescent Enterprises and Managing Director of Crescent Group, said, "Today the Arab World is faced with an enormous demographic challenge, and in response, 200 million jobs need tobe created over the next 20 years to support a growing population of young people, which are more jobs than were created in the Arab World over the whole of the last century. While the scale of the problem is huge, this is a challenge that we must tackle head on and with great urgency, which is the guiding ethos behind our partnership with Education For Employment."
In addition to already having an established presence in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Palestine, Tunisia and Yemen, the UAE offers a strong platform for EFE to further amplify support for youth employment in the region, and provide strategic operational assistance to its affiliates across the Arab World.