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Enterprising youngsters get great resources – and great results

 
“The education system here enforces a really excellent work ethic, discipline and responsibility You find many of them working in international firms whether legal or professional services or accounting”  Reem Ahmadi, College Councillor, Ibn Khuldoon National School

It’s no surprise that Bahrain has the Gulf’s most highly-skilled workforce, especially when you appreciate the kind of facilities they’re able to access.
 
Bahrain invests heavily in education at all levels – accounting for no less than 11% of total Government expenditure.
 
Four new stories demonstrate not just Bahrain’s commitment to education, but the resulting innovation. And senior businesspeople agree, they cite Bahrain’s workforce as a major factor in deciding to invest in the Kingdom, both in terms of quality and in minimising the cost of relocating expatriate employees.
 
“Bahrain has a much better developed and a much more readily available, educated, skilled workforce, here it’s the big competitive advantage” Paul Warman, Audit Director, Deloitte
 
Hot-housing ideas
 
The University of Bahrain Business Incubator Centre helps young people, particularly University of Bahrain graduates, develop knowledge-based business ideas and set up new enterprises. Founded by the Bahrain Business Incubator Centre and the Bahrain Development Bank, it provides infrastructure and technical support, together with entrepreneurship training.
 
Real-world applications
 
Similarly, ICT students and the Bahrain Polytechnic have a new dedicated ICT Innovation Lab, where they can develop practical solutions to benefit industry and the wider community.
 
Equipped with a wide range of technologies, including a cloud environment, servers, virtual reality headsets, tablets and much more, the Lab lets students work with external companies, giving them hands-on experience before graduating.
 
Grand designs
 
Bahrain’s first Fab Lab (fabrication lab) is a unique space for developing manufacturing-ready designs. Essentially a small industrial plant, it allows designers, programmers, engineers and marketers to share ideas and use advanced digital manufacturing equipment, such as 3D printers. Launched by the Ebtikar Association and supported by Bader Group, Bahrain’s new facility is part of the international Fab Foundation network which grew out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Center for Bits & Atoms.
 
Saving lives
 
A $10,000 grant from the Coca-Cola Foundation’s ‘Ripples of Happiness’ initiative is enabling ten University of Bahrain students and their mentor to take their ‘Keep an Eye’ device to market. This clever system is designed to track the number of children getting on and off school buses in order to prevent heat-related tragedies – a real problem in hot countries.
 
See below why some key businesspeople value Bahrain’s commitment to education:
 
“What’s very attractive in Bahrain is the fact that the workforce is very skilled ... and that’s very attractive because the costs will be lower, the skills will be there and Bahrainis are extremely well educated” Philippe Mariani, Head of Special Projects, Kuwait Finance House
 
“In terms of the local workforce our experience has been a very positive one. The upshot of that is that we are at 88% Bahrainisation. And we have found our experience of managing our workforce has been positive” Manfred Maske, Chief Financial Officer, Legal & General