Role of Private Sector in Linking Education & Employability

Reporting on IFC conference on private education, “Making Global Connections,” University World News offers glimpse of growing efforts to bridge employer needs for talent with innovative private sector education initiatives.

The article states: Some “30% of employers globally say they do not find enough people for the jobs that they have,” Gassan Al-Kibsi, managing partner at McKinsey and Company in Saudi Arabia, told the IFC’s conference on private education held in Dubai from 6-8 March. Top-up courses for graduates, devised with industry in mind, can bridge the gap between academic courses and working life. Such courses are organised to supplement university degrees and are often provided by private or non-profit institutions. “Government institutions are often unable to understand employers’ needs,” Al-Kibsi said.

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has built an investment portfolio of US$400 million involving 69 projects in 33 countries, many of them in higher education. “Like it or not, the private sector will increasingly be part of the solution in offering skills to young people all over the world,” said Guy Ellena, the IFC’s Istanbul-based regional director of manufacturing, agribusiness and services for Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. “We really believe there is a major role for the private sector to complement public education,” he told University World News.

To understand the changing role – and new funding priority – of the IFC with regard to private sector support in the education sector, go to

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