Developing the next generation: Reach Junior launches in Dubai

Mentorship programme for school children aims to build skills for future success

Reach Junior, a non-profit mentoring programme dedicated to developing the next generation of leaders, has launched in Dubai. The initiative will be rolled out this academic year, offering school students a structured learning environment designed to enhance people skills and leadership qualities.

Launched by Arcadia Education in collaboration with Reach (a non-profit mentoring organisation), the programme will provide tailored group mentoring sessions for boys and girls from Year 7 to Year 13. The initial pilot will assign each group to two experienced Reach mentors from different generations for a one-year programme. The programme will also include soft skills training sessions delivered by professional coaches.

Reach Junior’s mission to empower children with essential soft skills, is in unison with the UAE government’s Vision 2021 – a policy that places significant emphasis on future skills to unlock the potential of UAE youth. In a global survey1 of employers, 40% claim a lack of skills is the main reason for entry-level job vacancies, while 60% believe new graduates are not adequately prepared for the world of work.

Founding Board Member of Reach Mentoring, Jumana Hannoud, commented: “We are delighted to launch Reach Junior alongside Arcadia Education. The mentorship programme addresses the skillsets that are often overlooked but are fundamental in navigating the global workplace. Reach Junior is a sustained programme that teaches the core values of leadership – confidence, courage, compassion – to create resilient adults and future leaders.”

In recent years, the emergence of the Fourth Industrial Revolution has shone a spotlight on future skills. According to the World Economic Forum, two-thirds of employees see their job changing significantly at least every five years because of technological advances, creating a need for acquisition of new skills such as communication, adaptability and effective teamwork.

Navin Valrani, CEO of Arcadia Education, added, “At Arcadia Education we are committed to nurturing the next generation of leaders, of which mentoring has an important role to play. Today’s generation of children will enter into a challenging workplace, whereby job roles are automating and digitalising – it is essential to future-proof children to prosper in the wake of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”

With the first enrolment scheme due to begin this academic year, the Reach Junior mentorship programme will support and develop young teenagers through the various stages of high school to prepare them for tertiary education and equip them for their future careers.

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