Dubai, UAE - Pearson, the world’s learning company recently hosted a virtual roundtable, bringing together more than 25 leading Corporate and HR professionals from various industries in the Middle East region to identify and discuss the emerging HR trends and priorities, the long-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on corporate hires and the implications business leaders should anticipate for their organizations.

The roundtable was held in association with Corporate Shiksha, the innovative learning company enabling people to learn every day and prepare for the future of work through a unique Master Class series based on experiential learning pedagogy, on the theme - Digital Transformation - the new normal for the work and workforce.

 “The UAE’s economy like all other global economies has been impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, and the faster recovery will depend on how quickly and sustainably companies can accelerate digital transformation, adapt to the new consumer demands and retain people who have the right skills and expertise. Now that the economy is on the cusp of recovery, the role of HR is becoming even more important, whether companies want to recruit the right people, assess their current staff’s skills, or develop and upskill their best talent.” stated Majid Mneymneh, Vice President- Higher Education and Corporate.

During the pandemic, it was well noticed that the workforce of the future needs a re-set. In planning for and implementing the restart, the new work culture patterns around the globe reveal that entities’ focus is now placed on productivity and output and hiring workers with the right skills, and/or improving the skills of their existing workforce, so that they can contribute effectively and drive value.

“We at Corporate Shiksha are both excited & grateful, with all the encouragement and support we are getting as we move forward in building the learning community in the Middle East. Our purpose is to create a vibrant community of leaders focused on learning actionable insights, sharing innovative people practices, tech solutions around work, workplace, talent, and culture – and help in learning from an outside-in perspective. Our belief is the strength of the community is in its people, so if you are a business or HR Leader based in the Middle East, request to join the #CSInsightsForum at stated Ankur Sethi, Founder & CEO, Corporate Shiksha.

The roundtable shed light on how Digital Transformation in the present scenario is shaping the future of work, leading to a new normal and its multi-dimensional impact on workforce & talent. As revealed by a poll that took place during the session, employee well-being and enhancing employee engagement & experience were the most critical priorities for HR professionals at the moment, while others included identifying and retaining the right, digital-savvy talent, building critical skills for the workforce by looking at micro learning, peer learning as concepts to prepare people for the #NewNormal, change management and empowering them to work in new ways by giving day-to-day tools a digital upgrade. All this is required to build organizational resilience and can help brands thrive in the post-pandemic world.

“In 2019, the economy grew by 1.4 per cent, and in 2020 experts are estimating UAE’s GDP to contract by 5.2 per cent. The economic fallout of the pandemic has led to organizations facilitating digital transformation. Being seen a strategic arm for business, HR professionals are now faced with new priorities focused on employee’s well-being with the increased work from home; skills assessment and training with shifting business priorities and flexible roles and responsibilities; and recruiting virtually to acquire new needed skills. L&D budgets across most industries and sectors will likely be cut in the near-term as companies work to cut costs amidst declining profits. That said, employee retention will remain important. “added Mneymneh.

Pearson’s Corporate solutions covers the 4 fundamental aspects that companies and organizations need to reach their full potential i.e, recruitment, development, certification and employee experience. The company partners with top institutions to provide corporates with globally recognized, industry-relevant programs, with the competitive advantage of allowing both the employers and the employees develop critical skills and respond to the new market demands. For more information, please visit:  

Going forward, the company aims to host more such roundtables to build a vibrant learning community in the region and provide a much more deeper understanding on specific themes.  

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