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Young, out of work, and unemployable

Young, out of work, and unemployable

The Middle East has a large pool of young people able to fill gaps in the workforce. So where are they?

April 14, 2010 4:47 by

Another key factor which he believes strongly favors programs such as those offered by INSEAD is, somewhat ironically, born of the global financial crisis. With the resilience of the massive sovereign wealth funded institutions of the region put to the test, renewed emphasis has been placed on corporate governance. As the juggernaut businesses of the region set out to strike deals with foreign institutions, local standards of governance and transparency need to be brought in line with international expectations. Brown believes INSEAD is ideally poised to bridge this gap.

As countries across the Middle East join the rest of the world in assessing the new, post-crisis economic landscape, establishing exactly what role its own people will play in the businesses of tomorrow remains a key challenge for the region.

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  1. TB on April 14, 2010 5:13 pm

    Perhaps getting rid of the free DEWA, property, etc, might help? There’s not a lot of incentive to bother going into the workforce when you’re supported by subsidies and freebies from the government.

    Removing or lowering the quota system for hiring Emiratis would probably help too. Talk to many UAE-based business owners and you’ll hear plenty of stories about Emirati employees who do little more than turn up, collect their cheques and go home again. Some Emiratis are wonderful and capable workers, and they are like gold dust. Make getting a job harder and more competitive and you’ll force modern kids to up their game.

  2. Miss Anne Thropic on April 21, 2010 1:38 pm

    Lowering government salaries and amending government job working hours so they are in line with private sector salaries, rather than throwing money at private companies to hire Emiratis, would help too.

    At the moment, there is no real incentive for Emiratis to work longer hours for less money in the private sector.

    I know of an Emirati graduate who expects Dh30,000 a month for her first job straight from college with no experience. I graduated from college with five years work experience already behind me and took a job where the salary was the equivalent of about Dh7,000. But I knew that my first job was not going to be my well-paid dream job.

    I have a pretty good job now but it took hard work and experience to get there, rather than an inflated sense of entitlement or the attitude that the world owed me a favour.

  3. Andrew on April 21, 2010 2:55 pm

    Every year the federal and local government discuss the fact that public sector growth both financially and numerically is unsustainable, every year the advantage of the public sector is retrenched financially or otherwise.

    For those in specialised technical roles (ADNOC, ADWEA, etc.) it makes sense they have to compete with both the market and each other, but paying salaries to non-technical staff that are about 3-4 times what you’d expect to get paid in developed countries is nothing more than state-sanctioned benefits.

  4. Miss Anne Thropic on April 21, 2010 4:18 pm

    Yep, pay specialists such as ADNOC engineers well, but Dh30,000+ salaries for desk-bound pen-pushers is insane.

    The aforementioned female graduate was also living at home in Abu Dhabi so it’s not as if exorbitant Abu Dhabi rent has to come out of her unrealistic salary. It is little wonder then that young Emiratis fritter away money on materialistic things, starting with the time they get $130 a week in pocket money.

    The sad part is that it would be so easy to sort out these country’s problems but the local whining about how they all suffer would be heard from space…

  5. Andrew on April 22, 2010 8:11 am

    I’m quite lucky that most of my closest friends are Emirati, however on a few occasions even they’ve rolled out the “I *only* earn 20,000 a month” line. For those who live at home and work in non-technical roles, and still find it hard to live on what is essentially 40,000 pounds a year with no overheads or tax – it astonishes me.


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