Report

The Future of Work – The Middle East and North Africa

Education and work in the Middle East and North Africa region will determine the livelihoods of over 300 million people and drive growth and development for generations to come. As one of the youngest populations in the world, it is imperative that the region make adequate investments in education and learning that hold value in the labour market and prepare citizens for the world of tomorrow. In addition, as the global transformation of work unfolds in the region, policymakers, business leaders and workers must be prepared to proactively manage this period of transition.

Key Findings

• The World Economic Forum’s Human Capital Index— which measures the extent to which countries and economies optimize their human capital potential through education and skills development and its deployment throughout the life-course—finds that the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region as a whole currently only captures 62% of its full human capital potential (compared to a global average of 65%).
• Three common themes characterize MENA’s labour markets: low but increasing levels of workforce participation by women; high rates of unemployment and under-employment, especially among the young and relatively well-educated; and large but decreasing shares of public sector employment. However, there are also marked differences between economies in the share of high, medium and low skilled jobs, the prevalence of informal work and the reliance on foreign workers.
• Across the Middle East and North Africa, a number of countries have improved the educational achievement of their younger generations at notable rates and, by 2030, the region is set to expand its tertiary educated talent pool by 50%. However, youth unemployment in the MENA region stands at 31% and university graduates are making up nearly 30% of the total unemployed pool. Workforce participation gender gaps currently remain wide across the region, ranging from just over 40% in Kuwait and Qatar to nearly 80% in Algeria and Jordan, reflecting an inefficient use of education investments.
• Across the region, high-skilled employment stands at 21% on average, while middle-skilled roles account for 66%
of all formal sector jobs. The United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia lead the way in the local availability of high-skilled jobs. Some of the most common types of high-skilled employment in the MENA region include commercial bankers, corporate finance specialists and accountants, schoolteachers and academics, engineers, quality assurance professionals and information technology consultants, according to data from LinkedIn.
• It has been estimated that 41% of all work activities in Kuwait are susceptible to automation, as are 46% in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, 47% in the UAE, 49% in Egypt, 50% in Morocco and Turkey and 52% in Qatar. In addition, whether jobs are declining, stable or growing, they are going through major changes to their skills profile. The World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs analysis found that, by 2020, 21% of core skills in the countries of the
Gulf Cooperation Council and 41% of those in Turkey will be different compared to skills that were needed in 2015. At the same time, across the MENA region, substantial potential exists for creating high value-adding formal sector jobs in a number of sectors, skills levels and work formats.
• Preparing for these disruptions and new opportunities, while address current challenges will require broad reforms and agile, iterative public-private collaboration efforts. The Forum’s New Vision for Arab Employment and Gender Parity Task Forces serve as platforms for closing skills gaps and closing gender gaps to help the region prepare for the future of work.


via The Future of Jobs and Skills in the Middle East and North Africa: Preparing the Region for the Fourth Industrial Revolution | World Economic Forum

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