Issue 8 2021

Jun21176 Best Vocational Skills Development Initiative - Egypt With sights set on being the leading recognised accreditation body in Egypt working in the vocational education and training field, Qualifications Development Bank offers the resources and support required to elevate the standards of the country’s workforce. We find out more following the organisation’s success at the Corporate Vision Education and Training Awards 2021. Created to raise the competitiveness level of the Egyptian vocational labour by raising their skills, qualifications and competencies to comply with international standards, Qualifications Development Bank (“QDB”) is Egypt’s first accreditation body serving the vocational sector. QDB was built on the belief that it takes knowledge, skills and attitude to thrive within a business or career, and consequently aims to cultivate, equip and empower the Egyptian workforce to transform the vocational culture into a more appealing and prestigious one. The company’s philosophy centres on the idea that through investment into individuals, QDB can see its impact on the whole economy, as is the beauty of the cascading effect of vocational education and training. To expand, the QDB journey begins with caliber filtration, moves through personal development to graduation and entry to industry, which in turn leads to business and community growth and concludes with the flourishing of the economy. For QDB, this journey manifests through its comprehensive framework that closely oversees its participants’ development from recruitment to assessment with a uniquely meticulous eye on the quality of training. This framework also benefits from an integrated focus on behavioural aspects, resulting in a fully developed labour force with the behavioural qualifications that set them apart in a saturated market. The 360-degree approach employed by QDB is driven by the company’s vision of transforming the vocational education system in Egypt and encompasses a comprehensive range of services to see that vision come to fruition. These services include accrediting training centres and vocational schools based on compliance with international standards; developing customised qualifications based on the needs of the Egyptian market; managing the many facets of examination and assessment centres; offering career guidance to current learners and alumni via regular communications throughout their career paths; providing consultation services to educational and industrial institutions looking to develop their own training centres; and finally, defining the required skills and competencies of Master Trainers who deliver these qualifications. The extensive nature of QDB’s service offering has resulted in an extensive range of clients who benefit from those services. Whether it be partners, such as centres and business communities or employees, to donors, such as sponsorship programmes and projects, QDB is dedicated to developing strong relationships with its clients so that together, they can fulfil the organisation’s primary mission to serve its main end-beneficiaries: the vocational learners. This mission can be broken down into four key statements: to endorse talent, ambition and hard work; to deliver the means, the support, and the long-term guidance; to build skills, equal opportunities and quality standards; and to fight incompetence, inequality and unemployment. To that end, QDB operates by a set of values that have evolved since its inception but ultimately remained unchanged in their dedication to talents’ empowerment. Indeed, the values sought in members of the QDB team are aligned with these mission statements. As a result, the QDB team is comprised of individuals who work for a cause and delight in showcasing their passion towards development. They are committed to delivering quality and knowledge, to cultivating trust, to pursuing success and to challenging the status quo, and in return, QDB supports its team as they engage in their own journeys of development and self-improvement, resulting in a productive and empowering internal culture driven by an ambition to be the leading recognised accreditation body in Egypt in its field. The pursuit of this ambition is not always easy, principally owing to the barriers of the vocational ecosystem, operational ecosystem and vocational culture of the educational and training sector of Egypt. However, despite additional challenges such as the global pandemic, QDB has continued to thrive as it turns adversity into opportunity. For instance, having digitised its content shortly after the onset of the pandemic as an immediate solution, QDB’s updated content is now the foundation for its pioneering Arabic-speaking vocational education and training digital platform. As QDB looks ahead, its upcoming strategic objectives will continue to align with current technological trends as it enhances its 360-degree offering to clients. In its own efforts for self-development, QDB is making plans to address its key challenges through initiatives in key areas such as integrated national vocational behavioural competency framework and the enrichment of its operational capacity through the launch of a virtual teacher/trainer academy. With ambition set high and successes such as its award for Best Vocational Skills Development Initiative – Egypt already under its belt, there is little doubt that the future is bright for QDB as it continues to establish itself as the leading accreditation body in Egypt within the vocational education and training sector. Contact: Lydia Matta