Multimillion IFC , Swicorp Investment to roll out vocational model by 2020
Amman, 26th, May, 2015
Luminus Education, Jordan’s leading vocational and technical education provider, has announced the launch of a regional expansion strategy funded by a multi-million dollar investment initiative of the International Finance Corporation ( IFC ), a member of the World Bank Group, and Swicorp.
The 18 million U.S. dollar agreement will support Luminus Education’s plans to diversify its offerings and expand both locally and regionally as a growing number of education experts is currently calling for increasing the number of vocational and technical colleges to combat the region’s youth unemployment predicaments.
According to a report published by IFC ‘s E4E Initiative for Arab Youth for (2011 – 2012), the region demonstrates the highest unemployment rate among youth (25%) and the lowest participation of females in the labour force (3/4 working-age women).
The report reveals that the formal private sector employs no more than 20% of the workers in any country in the region. However, employment growth (3-5% per year) has been insufficient to absorb the youth entering the labour market, mainly in low value added sectors.
“Vocational and technical education is no longer an option. It is a grassroots solution to curbing unemployment in the region, a conduit for bridging the gap between work skills and education outcomes,” says Luminus CEO Ibrahim Safadi. “Around 40% of firms in the Middle East and North Africa identify the available skill level in the labour market as a major constraint for business,” Safadi notes in a press conference held at Al Quds College, member of Luminus Education on Tuesday.
“Vocational education is principally designed to offer Arab economics alterative options, which is no doubt a challenge given that the majority of youth still prefer university degrees and public sector jobs over technical and vocational career tracks,” Safadi explains.
“Bridging the gap between education outcomes and labour market needs is a major challenge addressed today by educational institutions in the Arab World. It is a critical issue that even countries with flourishing economies in the region need to address,” says Dr Ahmed Ali Attiga, IFC Middle East & North Africa Head of Mission.
“It is the very reason why our organization is strategically focusing on finding real solutions to this predicament, which has serious economic and political repercussions,” he continues.
“Luminus Group’s regional expansion strategy and the model it adopts in addressing learning and workforce readiness is exemplary. IFC is synergizing with the Group’s plans to roll out its model across MENA, which will no doubt empower Arab youth and help them develop the skills very much sought by the private sector,” he explains.
” IFC is not only funding the roll out of this model. It will also offer consultancy and know-how concerning governance and risk management issues related to this endeavour. We will also study international best practices that would allow us to leverage the Luminus model regionally,” Attiga concludes.
“We are really excited about the partnership between Luminus, IFC and Swicorp. The international success of vocational-based education in achieving a fit between learning outcomes and workforce readiness has become a topic of the greatest importance for countries tackling the challenges of youth unemployment,” says Nabil Triki, Managing Director and co-Head of Private Equity at Swicorp in a press release commenting about the agreement that has been officially announced last Friday during the World Economic Forum in the Dear Dea.
The Group, which has the largest community college in Jordan, has adopted an innovative strategy to enhance the delivery of quality education services by addressing the mismatch between the skill-sets of Arab youth and labor market needs, in line with IFC ‘s E4E Initiative for Arab Youth. E4E works diligently to license and disseminate internationally-accredited programs in Technical and Vocational Education (City & Guilds and Pearson), establish one umbrella for the sector, and allow Colleges to offer BA programs in specific Technical fields in partnership with international universities.
Luminus is targeting 20,000 students by 2020 with offerings focused on vocational education and technical training, workforce development, creative media and language training.
Luminus Group is a private company incorporated in 2007 and is headquartered in Amman. It is a leading vocational training and education group in Jordan and is expanding into the MENA region. The group has two main subsidiaries: Luminus Education and Luminus Media.
For more information, visit luminuseducation.com/
IFC , a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private enterprises in about 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. In FY14, we provided more than $22 billion in financing to improve lives in developing countries and tackle the most urgent challenges of development. For more information, visitwww.ifc.org
About the E4E Initiative for Arab Youth
The E4E Initiative for Arab Youth, launched in 2011, aims to provide youth with skills that are relevant to the marketplace by investing in education, engaging stakeholders, and enabling solutions so that Arab Youth earn a better future. Through focused IFC investments and advisory efforts, the strategy of the E4E Initiative focuses on catalyzing private sector investments in employment-driven education, enabling a healthier ecosystem for quality post-secondary education and training, changing mindsets on the role of the private sector in education, and improving the perception of vocational and workforce readiness training as a viable choice for enhancing employment and entrepreneurship prospects in the region. The E4E Initiative works in partnership with the following donors: the Islamic Development Bank, UKAid, the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, and the government of the Netherlands. For more information, visit www.E4Earabyouth.com.
Swicorp is a leading investment banking and asset management firm with a primary regional focus on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
Founded in 1987, Swicorp has an extensive track record of pioneering M&A and Advisory transactions across the MENA region. Swicorp has also developed into one of the leading players in the Private Equity sector, raising more than US$ 1 billion in private equity funds from investors since 2004.
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