ASDA’A Bur­son-Marsteller Arab Youth Sur­vey

Two-thirds of young Gulf Arabs still look to govt for jobs

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

More than two-thirds of young na­tional Arabs in the Gulf states still hope to land jobs with govern­ment, de­spite ini­tia­tives to en­cour­age them to seek out ca­reers in the pri­vate sec­tor.

This new find­ing from the eighth an­nual ASDA’A Bur­son-Marsteller Arab Youth Sur­vey was un­veiled by Su­nil John, the CEO of ASDA’A Bur­son-Marsteller, at a pre­sen­ta­tion to the third Global Is­lamic Econ­omy Sum­mit, be­ing held in Dubai on the 11th and 12th of Oc­to­ber.

Across the whole Arab world, half (50 per cent) of young peo­ple said they would pre­fer a govern­ment job to pri­vate sec­tor work. How­ever, this pref­er­ence rises to 70 per cent across the Gulf states of Saudi Ara­bia, the UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait and Oman.

When asked what would en­tice them to work in the pri­vate sec­tor, more than half of all young Arabs sur­veyed cited higher wages (51 per cent), fol­lowed by bet­ter health­care and other ben­e­fits (35 per cent), more paid hol­i­days (29 per cent) and shorter work­ing hours (27 per­cent).

In the GCC, where gov­ern­ments have tra­di­tion­ally em­ployed the ma­jor­ity of the na­tional work­force, only 15 per­cent of young peo­ple said they would pre­fer to work in the pri­vate sec­tor, while an­other 14 per cent had no pref­er­ence and 1 per cent didn’t know.

Sus­tain­able econ­omy

“Per­suad­ing young peo­ple to take on roles in the pri­vate sec­tor is es­sen­tial to cre­at­ing a strong, sus­tain­able econ­omy,” said Su­nil John. “These find­ings show that de­spite on­go­ing ef­forts to make the pri­vate sec­tor more ap­peal­ing to young Gulf Arabs, the mes­sage isn’t get­ting through as fast as gov­ern­ments or the pri­vate sec­tor -would like.

“New ini­tia­tives and poli­cies, such as Saudi’s Vi­sion 2030, the re­moval of sub­si­dies on fuel and in­tro­duc­tion of VAT across the Gulf, show that gov­ern­ments are se­ri­ous about new eco­nomic re­al­i­ties,” he added. How­ever, it seems bal­anc­ing ex­pec­ta­tions about pub­lic sec­tor work with the re­al­i­ties of pri­vate sec­tor em­ploy­ment for those young na­tion­als en­ter­ing the work­force will re­quire more ef­fort.”

Elsewhere in the Arab World, views to­wards pub­lic sec­tor em­ploy­ment dif­fer markedly. In the Lev­ant, young peo­ple are al­most evenly split be­tween pref­er­ence for the pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tors (28 per cent and 30 per cent re­cep­tively), while 37 per cent had no pref­er­ence and 4 per cent didn’t know. In North Africa, 47 per cent of young na­tion­als would opt for the pub­lic sec­tor, 26 per cent for pri­vate, 20 per cent had no pref­er­ence and 8 per cent didn’t know.

In an­other Sur­vey find­ing un­veiled at his pre­sen­ta­tion, John re­vealed that the ma­jor­ity of young Arabs - 58 per cent - want to fur­ther their ed­u­ca­tion, be it univer­sity, vo­ca­tional train­ing or post-grad­u­ate de­gree. In North Africa, 73 per cent in­tend to fur­ther their ed­u­ca­tion, against 61 per cent in the GCC and just 41 per cent in the Lev­ant.


Of those who aren’t seek­ing fur­ther ed­u­ca­tion, 40 per cent of young peo­ple in the Lev­ant say they are put off by the high cost of fur­ther ed­u­ca­tion; in North Africa 19 per cent are con­cerned by teach­ing stan­dards; while 62 per cent of young Gulf Arabs are keen to get on with their ca­reers.

Now in its eighth year, the ASDA’A Bur­son-Marsteller Arab Youth Sur­vey has es­tab­lished it­self as a key re­fer­ral source for busi­nesses and pol­i­cy­mak­ers in the re­gion and across the world. For this year’s sur­vey, in­ter­na­tional polling firm Penn Schoen Ber­land (PSB) con­ducted 3,500 face-to-face in­ter­views with ex­clu­sively Arab na­tional men and women aged 18-24 in the six Gulf Co­op­er­a­tion Coun­cil (GCC) coun­tries of the UAE, Saudi Ara­bia, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain; Iraq, Egypt, Jor­dan, Le­banon, Libya, Pales­tine, Tu­nisia, Morocco, Al­ge­ria and Ye­men. The in­ter­views were con­ducted from Jan­uary 11 to Fe­bru­ary 22, 2016.

In-depth re­sults from the 8th An­nual ASDA’A Bur­son-Marsteller Arab Youth Sur­vey, in­clud­ing sur­vey high­lights and a white pa­per in Ara­bic and English, are avail­able on www.araby­outh­sur­

DUBAI: Su­nil John un­veil­ing the sur­vey.

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