Abu Dhabi – Summer Challenge Programme

Programme description

Title: Abu Dhabi – Summer Challenge Programme
Commissioned by: Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC)
Financier: Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC)
Country: United Arab Emirates
Overall term: Since June 2004, open ended


In order to deal with a shortage of qualified staff in many technical fields, the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) began encouraging young people to take up technical professions. As hands-on approaches are a good way of introducing the youth to a variety of vocational occupations, it developed a scheme to offer technical orientation programmes. In 2004, GTZ (since January 2011 GIZ) was contracted to develop a training concept that would allow young people to gain their first experiences of technical professions, during their summer vacations. The huge success of the programme led to the continuation of the programme on an annual basis ever since.


Young people aged between 14 and 18 are given the chance to experience a range of technical professions and improve their decision-making regarding their future careers.


The summer challenge programme allows approximately 600 young participants to explore different areas of work in a challenging way. Targeting 14 to 18 year-old secondary students, the 40 courses on offer are intended to spark the participants’ interest in different subjects, while improving their day-to-day life skills, and helping them to explore different occupations and make better career choices.

All the courses are project-oriented and last for 1-2 weeks. Groups are organised with a trainer-to-trainee ratio of 1:10, and are divided into the following areas:

  • Technical work and handicraft courses (e.g. car mechanics, electrical installations, carpentry etc.)
  • Arts and design (e.g. photography and video production, painting and graphic arts, fashion and design etc.)
  • Special interests (e.g. first aid certificate, life guard certificate, fire fighting techniques).

In each course, students produce tangible results, which they can show to their parents at the end of each week. They are also given a certificate of completion that lists their achievements.

Every year, GIZ oversees the management and supervision of the courses, including tuition, training, development of training documents, and procurement of any specialised equipment and materials required.