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Study reveals Middle East employers seek to advance workers’ ICT skills

Nearly 85 per cent of respondents agree on importance of ICT in the workplace

A new survey conducted by ICDL Arabia, the governing body and certification authority for the ICDL certificate program in Egypt, GCC States and Iraq, has revealed a growing demand for the improvement and enhancement of information and communication technology (ICT) skills for employees in the public and private sectors.

The result further demonstrates a new trend where employers are not only looking to hire ICT-proficient candidates but also willing to provide them with additional necessary training to upgrade or enhance their skills. The survey covered 500 governments and companies across the region, including company owners and department and HR heads from various public and private sector organizations in the Middle East.

Survey findings indicate that employers in the region are looking for skilled employees who can improve upon their performance in response to changes in technology and market trends. Nearly 85 per cent of respondents said that all roles, including administrative, customer service, operations, sales and business development, marketing, and management require ICT skill sets such as teamwork, project management, report creation, and secured use of data and social media tools. While skills such as Digital Marketing followed by Word Processing and Online Collaboration are in high demand among employers, the majority of employees are proficient in Presentation, Word Processing, and Social.

Most employers in the Middle East are open to the idea of investigating in appropriate training and learning programs for their employees to enhance their proficiency as per the requirement of the organization and the market. Most of the respondents also indicated that they see the need for training their employees in fields such as Project Planning, Presentation, Spreadsheets, Word Processing, and IT Security because of their importance in the day-today tasks.

The survey results also points out that soft skills such as Teamwork, Communication, and Planning, followed by Flexibility and Analysis are considered essential for any role in the workplace. Lastly, employers believe that these soft skills that are difficult to acquire without a good back level of proficiency in ICT.

Jamil Ezzo, Director General, ICDL Arabia, said: “The Middle East region continues to enjoy robust growth across various industry verticals and a large component of this progress is fuelled by the businesses’ move to adopt the latest technologies in the workplace. Along with this comes the necessity of human capital to be proficient in the adoption and use of these new technologies, hence the growing demand for advanced ICT skills. ICT skills need to be updated in accordance with the evolution of technology as they are crucial for successful performance of professional commitments. The survey reinforces the ICDL’s commitment to offer the latest training programs and courses to develop human resource capacities to meet the ever-evolving ICT requirements of n the regional job market.”