Youth Unemployment Costs Arab Countries $40bn Annually
Vocational training should be encouraged to address youth unemployment and reduce the skills gap in the Arab countries, says expert.
- Youth unemployment in Arab countries is steadily rising, costing the region between $40 and $50 billion annually
an industry expert has said. Arab countries are facing a shortage of vocational labour as the market is currently facing an oversupply of university graduates in the tertiary sector. “Vocational training has often been seen as a lesser alternative to an academic education,” said Ramiz Haddadin, Pearson’s senior business development manager in the Middle East.
“Many people believe that vocational courses will lead to jobs that have lower wages and poorer conditions than their academic counterparts.” Haddadin said that vocational training is traditionally misunderstood to be less prestigious than a university qualification, although many international employers and institutions recognise vocational degrees.
A 2010 International Labour Organisation (ILO) report found that many private firms in the Arab region found it difficult to recruit employees with skills necessary for business expansion or adoption of new technologies.
“Young Arabs are not choosing education pathways that give them the skills or knowledge demanded by employers in the sectors most in need of skilled labour,” said Haddadin.
“This can also be in part attributed to many Arab students’ pursuance of education pathways that lead to careers in the public service, highly sought after because of the generous remuneration packages.
“Vocational education will be critical to building advanced economies in the Arab World, and needs to become a priority for regional governments looking to create high performance, global workforces,” he added.
Channeling youth into vocational training will also help slow down the region’s burgeoning unemployment rate and reduce the skills gap faced by the young workers. “Vocational programmes should be internationally recognised and accredited against global quality standards.
Read More By Mary Sophia, Gulf Business
Youth Unemployment is a global problem which is being addressed at an upcoming conference in Australia
Long-Term Unemployment Conference 2014
| Mature Age | Youth | Indigenous | Disability | Regional |
18-19 August 2014, QT Hotel Surfers Paradise
URL: www.longtermunemployment.org.au Ph: (61 7) 5502 2068
An initiative of the Australian and New Zealand Mental Health Association