Statistics Centre – Abu Dhabi (SCAD) and National Service and Reserve Authority (NSR) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to expand cooperation in developing the capabilities of alternative national service recruits in the fields of data science and data engineering. The MoU aligns with leadership's commitment to equipping UAE youth with the necessary skills to handle emergencies and achieve desired objectives in critical situations.

The MoU was signed by His Excellency Ahmed Mahmoud Fikri, Director General of SCAD, and Brigadier-General Obaid Ali Al-Mansoori, Director of the Directorate of Information and Corporate Communication at NSR Authority.

The MoU is part of SCAD’s initiative to organise the Data Pioneers programme, with the objective of providing comprehensive data science and engineering training to alternative national service members. The programme leverages cutting-edge technologies and industry best practices to equip recruits with the skills to derive precise insights using sophisticated predictive models and generate high-quality statistical data.

Pursuant to the MoU, SCAD will impart knowledge and furnish educational resources to enhance alternative service recruits' awareness and proficiency. Furthermore, such resources will facilitate the seamless assimilation of trainees into national projects, drawing upon the most optimal methodologies and advanced technological frameworks available in the statistical realm.

Brigadier-General Obaid Ali Al-Mansoori, Director of the Directorate of Information and Corporate Communication at NSR Authority, has lauded the MoU, describing it as an opportunity to augment cooperation between the NSR and SCAD, which is aligned with the UAE's leadership's overarching vision and strategic imperatives, particularly regarding support for the UAE youth. He has further emphasised the significance of enhancing the skill sets of the youth in emerging fields, ensuring that they remain attuned to the ever-evolving landscape and can navigate forthcoming challenges with dexterity. 

He said: "Cooperation between government entities contributes effectively to supporting national service recruits in their career by introducing them to the latest future trends in the field of data science, statistics and artificial intelligence, as it provides opportunities to improve their capabilities and contribute to the development of national projects."

His Excellency Ahmed Mahmoud Fikri said: “The Statistics Centre – Abu Dhabi launched this initiative to provide statistical and data analysis training and build statistical capabilities among the alternative national service recruits who would be able to use modern technologies in data collection and analysis with a strong foundation of cyber security scenarios using the most advanced technical solutions.

“SCAD’s Statistical Training Institute (STI) provides an opportunity for the alternative national service recruits to gain basic knowledge about statistics, data science and the techniques they need to understand and analyse complex databases applying advanced prediction and real-time models. The program familiarises alternative national service recruits with the latest statistical methodologies and best practices."

The training programme is part of SCAD’s strategy to develop a decentralised statistical ecosystem through a robust information network that involves statistically qualified individuals who can produce reliable statistical models to predict the future of economic, social and environmental sectors across Abu Dhabi.

The comprehensive 11-month programme entails a selection process comprising six tests that evaluate personal, technical, and statistical skills, in addition to verbal, numerical, and abstract proficiencies. The selected candidates are then subjected to an interview process that gauges their practical experience and suitability for the program. Enrolment in the Data Pioneers programme provides trainees with an exceptional opportunity to gain expertise in data science and engineering, where they will undergo accredited specialised courses for a period of three months. The Statistical Training Institute (STI) of SCAD offers these courses in collaboration with the Rochester Institute of Technology, Dubai.

After completing the training programme, the trainees engage in practical training for eight months. During this period, they will actively participate in statistical projects where they can prepare more advanced statistical scenarios per the best international standards and practices. The trainees receive an accredited international certificate at the end of the programme that qualifies them to work in the field of data science.

Tests were designed according to the best international standards and practices using the latest AI solutions, including the ChatGPT, which contributed to identifying the personal skills, learning abilities and technical qualifications required of the participants. Afterwards results are analysed to determine the most appropriate technical field for each trainee.