Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) has launched the Industrial Talent Programme to develop, attract and upskill human capital in the industrial sector to meet rising demand for knowledge-based jobs.

The announcement was made by His Excellency Rashed Abdulkarim Al Blooshi, Undersecretary of ADDED, at the first edition of the Abu Dhabi Industrial Talent Majlis, which brought together over 100 executives from manufacturing companies, education and training institutions, and representatives of young talents to address major topics and factors contributing to talent development and job market efficiencies. The Industrial Talent Majlis was established to serve as a collaborative platform for addressing the sector’s talent objectives.

The Industrial Talent Programme, launched by ADDED’s Industrial Development Bureau (IDB), will support the objectives of Abu Dhabi Industrial Strategy (ADIS), to develop and attract talent as well as upskilling the existing workforce in Abu Dhabi’s industrial sector as it experiences exponential changes with the transition to advanced manufacturing methods and techniques.

The initiative will include a series of activities over the next five years to match supply and demand in the job market by qualifying highly specialised talents in the industrial sector. These initiatives will include awareness sessions for students and employers, funded and co-funded training for incoming and existing workforce, in addition to incentives and talent attraction programmes.

IDB is leading the Industrial Talent Programme in collaboration with key partners including the Abu Dhabi Human Resources Authority, the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology, Abu Dhabi Residents Office, ADDED’s arm to support the emirate's thriving international community and position Abu Dhabi as a top destination for global talent and Abu Dhabi Youth Council. Additionally, IDB will be working closely with manufacturers to ensure successful execution during the next period.

ADIS emphasises the role of talent as a strategic pillar in strengthening Abu Dhabi’s position as the most competitive industrial hub in the region. Talent development is one of the six transformational programmes in which Abu Dhabi is investing AED10bn to deliver the objectives of ADIS including doubling the size of manufacturing sector to AED172bn, creating more than 13,600 skilled jobs and increasing non-oil exports to AED178.8bn by 2031.

The talent development’s initiatives are key to maximise benefits of other ADIS’s programmes, including Industry 4.0, Circular Economy, Ecosystem Enablement, Homegrown Supply Chain and Value Chain Development. With technological advancement in the industrial sector and transition to Industry 4.0, it is imperative to develop and upskill industrial talent to keep pace with the requirements of the digital and technological transformation.

In line with ADIS targeted sub-sectors, the Industrial Talent Programme will initially invest in developing, attracting and upskilling the Emirati and international talents in food manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, machineries, electrical and electronic products, and transportation.

The programme is designed to equip talent with technical and soft skills including the basics of technological advancements such as automation, Internet-of-Things, big data, digital and intelligent technologies, analytical thinking and adaptive flexibility.

Eng. Arafat Al Yafei, Executive Director of IDB, said: “Abu Dhabi continues to cement its status as the most competitive industrial hub in the region, with special focus on human development, sustainability and smart economy. The launch of the Industrial Talent Programme will accelerate our transformation journey as it addresses the supply side of our industrial transition. To drive future growth and proactively plan for shifts in market trends and demand, we believe it is vital to equip the talent with necessary skills, taking into consideration businesses are leveling up their capabilities to achieve a competitive edge in a highly advanced and digitised industry.

“Abu Dhabi has taken great strides in establishing itself as a preferred destination for investment, business, and talent. Our initiatives to encourage innovation and advanced technology as part of ADIS pave the way for smart minds to flourish here and contribute to tomorrow’s manufacturing”.

The event to announce Industrial Talent Programme also witnessed the graduation of first cohort of Tech Champions, a pilot programme to equip employees of food manufacturing factories in Abu Dhabi with Industry 4.0 skills.