British Council, HSBC launch new free app in Saudi Arabia

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - RIYADH — Young people in Saudi Arabia now have help to develop vital life skills through a new free app — Taqaddam Life Skills — which launched Wednesday (July 15) to coincide with World Youth Skills Day.

The free app has been developed by the British Council and HSBC Middle East through their joint program Taqaddam, and is designed to help young people develop essential skills for life, work and society.

Taqaddam is an innovative program that supports young people, giving them the confidence and support to upskill themselves for the future. It is currently on the ground in eight countries including Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, UAE and the UK.

The new app brings a digital enhancement to the experience for current participants and will attract new young people from across the globe.

Speaking about the new app Eilidh Kennedy McLean, director, British Council Saudi Arabia, said: “We wanted to create an essential personal development app that makes life skills education accessible, engaging and fun, because we believe that skills such as confidence, resilience, decision-making, and the ability to manage change are essential skills to flourish in life, work and society.”

“We are especially pleased to be launching on World Youth Skills Day as this year’s theme is Skills for a Resilient Youth. The current COVID-19 pandemic means uncertainty for a lot of young people and there is a need to enhance their skills for a post-COVID world.

“We hope the app gives them the tools and support they need to face life’s challenges head on - It’s a great interactive and educational resource and young people across the world will benefit from it.”

Sabrin Rahman, head of sustainability for HSBC in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey, said: “We are very proud of the launch of the Taqaddam app in such extraordinary times. The strategic direction of Taqaddam is one of continuous innovation and sustainable growth, and I am confident that the app will add greater value to the lives of the young people already in the programme, and those who join in the coming weeks and months.”

The app is packed with 30 interactive ‘missions’, which are divided across four themes. These are: My Life where young people will gain greater self-awareness, develop values, confidence and purpose; My Life Skills explores skills such as creativity, critical thinking and collaboration; Make it Happen encourages young people to put their life skills into action; and Moving Forward ends the journey so that users have the confidence and tools to continue to learn and grow.

Over the past five years the Taqaddam program has reached more than 11 ,000 students and over 400 teachers. Working with around 500 schools and colleges across the Middle East and North Africa, the programme has provided classes, workshops and social action projects all centered around life skills education.

Along with the app, the Taqaddam program is using innovative digital solutions to help teachers and students during the COVID-19 crisis, including webinars for teachers to help them deliver online skills education. — SG

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