Silatech and Pearson unveil new jobs training standard for the region's youth

Doha, Qatar (8 June 2009) - Silatech, a regional-based initiative that aims to improve the social and economic status of young people in the Arab world, and Pearson, the international education and information company based in London, announced today their partnership for skills development services. This partnership will contribute to the creation of employment opportunities for young people throughout the Middle East and North Africa.

Silatech is an innovative initiative engaging the private, public and civil society sectors to promote large-scale training, job placement, and entrepreneurship for young people.  It is intended to help address the critical issue of youth unemployment, a serious and growing challenge impacting countries throughout the Arab world. Pearson Education, the global leader in education and education technology, will use its expertise, content and educational solutions to offer localized Skills Development Services in partnership with Silatech in such areas as preparing trainers, course content development, certification and accreditation services. Areas covered by the skills program will include construction, tourism, hospitality, business, information-technology, employability, and life skills courses. Other projects under the partnership include the creation of customized qualifications designed for the MENA region with international accreditation provided by Pearson's Awarding Body, Edexcel.

Pearson and Silatech signed a memorandum of understanding at the June 8 Silatech Summit that initiates this partnership, which begins with planning and design, followed by pilot projects working with local governments and regional organizations, with the aim of  a large scale impact. "At Silatech, we believe that education is a key component for the empowerment of young people. Our partnership with Pearson will help equip a generation of young Arabs with the skills they need to succeed in meeting market-driven demand, needs and promoting their full employment," said Mr. Rick Little, CEO of Silatech.

"Pearson is very excited to launch this partnership with Silatech, to help build critical skills and create job opportunities for the fast-growing young population in the Middle East and North Africa," said John Fallon, chief executive of Pearson's International Education business. "Pearson products, services and solutions help educate students and adults all over the world, and we will draw on our global resources and capabilities to help forge the skills that young people in the Arab world need in the 21st Century. Pearson has decades of rich experience in this region, and we look forward to working with Silatech on this important initiative."

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About Silatech

Silatech is a Qatar-based innovative initiative engaging the private, public and civil society sectors to promote large-scale job placement and entrepreneurship for young people.  It was established to help address the critical issue of youth unemployment, a serious and growing challenge impacting countries throughout the Arab world.  With the support of His Highness the Emir of Qatar and Her Highness Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned, Silatech was first announced in 2008 at the UN Alliance of Civilizations Forum in Madrid and launched in June 2008 at the Doha Summit.  Silatech means "your connection" in Arabic, and its strength is in partnering with leaders, corporations and organizations globally to promote opportunity and innovation for young people.

About Pearson

Pearson, the global leader in education and education technology, reaches and engages today's digital natives with effective and personalized learning, as well as dedicated professional development for their teachers. The company's respected brands include Pearson Longman, Scott Foresman, Prentice Hall, Addison Wesley, Benjamin Cummings, SuccessNet, MyLabs, PowerSchool, SuccessMaker, Edexcel and many others. Pearson's comprehensive offerings help inform targeted instruction and intervention so that success is within reach of every learner at every level of education and training. Pearson's commitment to education for all is supported by the global philanthropic initiatives of the Pearson Foundation. Pearson's other primary businesses include the Financial Times Group and the Penguin Group. For more information, go to www.pearson.com.

Contact

Mr. Ahmed Younis, Director of Strategic Partnership & Communications
+974-622-8552, ayounis@silatech.com
At Pearson: Luke Swanson/ Simon Mays-Smith/ Charles Goldsmith + 44 (0) 20 7010 2310