Professionalism, communication, discipline, creativity, teamwork, and critical thinking are among the key attributes that employers look for today when they’re hiring young people in the Arab region. These skills are defined under “soft skills” which are also known as job readiness skills. Where hard skills help one cross out the technical requirements of a job, soft skills are the backbone of long-term professional success within the workspace.
Silatech, in line with its mission to expand economic opportunities and create a society in which young people are not only able to work, but are engaged in the economic and social development of their societies; recognizes the importance of developing the soft skills of the region’s youth, using alternative approaches such as civic engagement. With that in mind, the Civic Engagement Unit at Silatech has been charged with the responsibility to devise programs that not only enhance the employability of Arab youth but also impart among them a sense of social responsibility.
Qasd and Wajibi are Silatech’s two flagship programs under its Civic Engagement Unit. These programs complement each other in realizing Silatech’s vision, as they aspire to take Arab youth to a position where they hold their future in their owns hands and effectively contribute towards their own professional success, as well as towards the well being of their communities and the region as a whole.
Qasd – Responsible Leadership Program
QASD is a value-based leadership program that aims to develop a new generation of socially conscious and responsible young Arab leaders who will create and lead positive change in their own communities, countries and the region. Key leadership values such as respect, integrity and commitment, as well as skills such as communication, teamwork and conflict resolution, underpin the notion of responsible leadership and consequently what is taught in the program.
QASD is being piloted in Egypt, Palestine and Sudan, targeting senior university students and fresh graduates, and will reinforce attitudes and skills that lead to increased employability within those countries. The program will not just expose participants to other like-minded youth, but it will also connect them to responsible leaders within their countries, which will also serve to increase their social capital. QASD includes a practical component that focuses on the development of socially innovative business models.
Countries: Palestine, Egypt, Sudan
Wajibi – My Education, My Community
Silatech’s Wajibi program is committed to embedding civic engagement on university campuses, recognizing the critical contribution of civic engagement towards the ultimate goal of universities in producing well educated, motivated, committed and productive citizens. Wajibi promotes an alternative teaching pedagogy called “service learning,” which is meant to not only enhance learning by connecting theory to practice, but to also develop the skills of students in a way that is relevant to the job market, while at the same time instilling in them a sense of social responsibility. Wajibi focuses on
1) training workshops designed to equip faculty with the necessary tools for the effective integration of service learning into their curriculum
2) the revival of the Ma’an Arab University Alliance to serve as a hub for the advancement of civically engaged universities in the region,
3) convening forums for university presidents to help inform them and inspire them to integrate civic engagement on their campuses as a way to help ensure that their students are ready to enter the job market as effective citizens.