Complex Made Simple

GCC employers face challenge with young talent

Youngsters below the age of 35 years show lowest levels of engagement and motivation

GCC employers are facing a major challenge with training and engaging young employees.

Based on a research by Talent Enterprise, the MENA Labour Market Confidence Index reveals that those below the age of 25 years and between 25 to 34 years show the lowest levels of engagement and motivation among all age groups.

Lack of motivation and reducing engagement levels have a direct impact on their performance, productivity and contribution to jobs, the index reveals.

The study says that, having a young working population is necessary, but not a sufficient condition for enhancing the productive capacity required to drive economic growth.

And in a clear message to employers, it emphasises that their energy and aspirations “need to be channelled in the right direction in terms of developing their skills and providing positive work opportunities”.

With more than 60 per cent of the population below the age of 30 years in the region, the talent of young people and the youth bulge they collectively represent offer “the greatest productive opportunity since the discovery of oil and gas in the middle of the last century,” the report reveals.

A majority of the 1,250 GCC companies and organisations surveyed pointed to moderate and cautious recruitment strategies; collectively, they expected to hire 421,250 new employees for 2014 to 2015.

Interestingly, industries that depend on expatriate labour are seen to be churning more jobs in the region.

Healthcare leads the way in terms of increased headcount expectations, followed closely by construction and hospitality, the report adds.

Few markets in the region are trying to reduce their dependence on foreign labour.

Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the Northern Emirates of the UAE are increasingly focusing on accelerating regulatory amendments to support nationalisation, the research points out.