The Arab World faces extraordinary challenges. In a region with the world’s highest youth unemployment rate, millions are frustrated by their job prospects–a frustration born of education that often leaves them unprepared for the marketplace. Educational shortcomings pose serious economic and social risks in the Arab World. 

The solution to this challenge will require the involvement of a broad array of stakeholders–not only students, but also governments, employers, education providers, and civil society. No one entity alone can be held responsible, increasing the difficulty of delivering a comprehensive remedy. 

This report aims to find a way forward. It shows that the private sector can be a powerful force for positive change by complementing public efforts to ensure that the region’s youth gain the right skills for the jobs being created. 

The report outlines the perspectives of multiple stakeholders toward what we call Education for Employment (e4e). It identifies areas for private sector investment and the incentives needed for businesses to seize them. At the same time, it emphasizes the vital role to be played by e4e’s relevant stakeholders. The need for e4e programs is vast. Yet the region’s e4e providers are relatively few in number. In addition, the region needs better standards, more access to finance for students, and stronger matchmaking between students, and potential employers.