The Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) signed Sunday a cooperation protocol with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, in order to strengthen the competitiveness of Egypt’s information technology sector workers.
The protocol further aims to develop educational and training activities to improve university graduates’ chances of finding work within the sector.
According to Communications Minister Atef Helmy, the protocol will have a significant impact on job market competitiveness while supporting the sector’s needs at the same time.
ITIDA is working to establish agreements with all relevant bodies in the communications sector to increase the capabilities and skills of workers and university graduates. This will prepare them to eventually enter the labour market, the minister said.
The protocol will be implemented over two years and the largest possible number of graduates will be trained as part of the ministry’s strategy, Helmy said.
The communication technology sector contributes to approximately 4.4% of GDP.
“Partnering with the IFC will contribute to development of the educational process and help narrow the skills gap for university graduates specialised in the field of information and communication technology,” said Chief Executive of ITIDA, Hussein Al-Gueretly.
“Developing skills is a key step toward reducing unemployment among young people in Egypt,” said IFC Director for the Middle East and North Africa, Mouayed Makhlouf.
The agreement comes in the framework of the E4E initiative for Arab Youth under the IFC, Makhlouf said.
The project will be implemented with support from the Swiss and Dutch governments, and IFC partners.
Makhlouf said that unemployment rate for those under the age of 29 is 75%, an extremely high figure that must be overcome through training.
According to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics, Egypt’s total labour force amounts to 27 million workers and 300,000 new individuals enter the labour market annually.
“We can overcome the training and skills gap between education and the labour market through joint cooperation programmes,” said Makhlouf.