In Egypt there are numerous investors in dire need of skilled workers. Even with this high demand for laborers, Egypt continues to face an unemployment problem, mainly due to the lack of trained labor. The potential market for educational training equipment in Egypt is increasing at an unprecedented rate. This comes as a result of the government’s privatization program for public sector entities, and the private sector’s realization of the need to upgrade workforce efficiency through training. Thus, the development of a highly skilled and competitive workforce has become imperative for both employers and employees in Egypt as they face the challenges of a rapidly growing and increasingly privatized economy in the 21st century.
The market for educational training equipment in Egypt is estimated at USD 200 million a year with an annual growth rate of 8%. At present, this market is only 55% saturated. The private sector estimates the number of potential clients at 10,000 companies of varying sizes, comprised of both public and private sector entities. These clients include other Middle East and African entities.
Although a large number of investors are in dire need of thousands of workers, Egypt continues to face a serious unemployment problem due to the lack of a qualified workforce. There are an insufficient number of trained laborers or skilled persons to fulfill the employment gap. Factors that impact the need to upgrade educational training are: (1) privatization of public sector entities which will require a massive amount of training and re-training; (2) private entities striving to acquire ISO 9000 certification are required to upgrade training of their employees as a condition to apply for ISO certification; (3) in order to be competitive in local and export markets, quality training is needed to master new technologies; (4) new graduates seek training on their own; (5) increased interest by Arab and African countries in seeking training in Egypt.
The current 2008/2012 five-year plan calls for upgrading education, educational facilities and educational equipment in order to master new technologies at a cost of USD 8.6 billion. The plan also links education to the job market by upgrading training and re-training. There are some 1300 vocational training centers affiliated with various ministries and government entities with a total training capacity of 200,000 trainees/year. During the current five-year plan, it is expected that some 1 million trainees will be trained and qualified. Additionally, the five-year plan allocated USD 600 million for upgrading 570 technical schools. The main recipients are in the industry, tourism and construction sectors.
There are 44,000 schools in Egypt, out of which 30,000 are now equipped with information and computer technology, science labs, and T.V. educational channels. The Egyptian government is giving special emphasis to new specialties, including environmental technology, biotechnology, and information technology. The number of university students enrolled in 2009 increased to 2.5 million, up from 1.3 million in 2001. Moreover, the number of faculties and higher education institutes increased to 476 in 2009, up from 360 in 2000.
There are 19 million school students in Egypt, 17.3 million of which are enrolled in government schools and 1.7 million in private schools. The student population is expected to increase to 20 million by the year 2010.
The number of schools increased from 11,000 in 1990 to 44,000 at present. Schools are being upgraded at the rate of 10% each year with modern educational facilities including computers, multimedia laboratories, Internet and satellite educational channels. To date, 600,000 teachers have been trained via a distance-learning program using video conferencing, and some 300,000 computers are already installed in schools.