52% of re­spon­dents in Oman say skills gap ex­ists: Sur­vey

Muscat Daily - - NATION -

Mus­cat - A re­cent study ti­tled ‘The Mid­dle East Skills Re­port’, con­ducted by Bayt.com – the Mid­dle East’s num­ber one job site – and YouGov – a re­search and con­sult­ing agency, has found that 52 per cent of re­spon­dents in Oman be­lieve that there is a skills gap in the mar­ket.

At the re­gional level, 65 per cent of em­ploy­ers be­lieve there is a skills gap in the mar­ket, while seven per cent of em­ploy­ers said there isn’t a gap, and 28 per cent said they did not know. Em­ploy­ers and job seek­ers seem to be in agree­ment on the pres­ence of a skills gap in the Mid­dle East and North Africa (MENA) re­gion, stated a press re­lease.

The ma­jor­ity of job seek­ers (59 per cent) also think that there is a skills gap, while 11 per cent think there is not.

From a job seeker’s per­spec­tive, ac­cord­ing to re­spon­dents, the num­ber one rea­son for not find­ing jobs fit­ting their skills-set is a ‘lack of aware­ness’ (33 per cent) of what skills are in high de­mand. This sen­ti­ment varies with age: 38 per cent among those aged 40+, com­pared to 34 per cent amongst ages 30-39, and 30 per cent amongst those be­low 30 years old.

Just above a quar­ter of job seek­ers (26 per cent) also claimed that the ed­u­ca­tional sys­tem doesn’t train stu­dents on skills which are rel­e­vant in to­day’s mar­ket­place. This sen­ti­ment is more preva­lent in North Africa (31 per cent) and amongst re­cent grad­u­ates (32 per cent).

Most de­manded skills

Ac­cord­ing to em­ploy­ers, the top three most im­por­tant skills for mid-ca­reer or ju­nior po­si­tions are ‘team­work’ (83 per cent of em­ploy­ers said it is very im­por­tant), ‘time man­age­ment’ (80 per cent said it is very im­por­tant) and ‘writ­ten com­mu­ni­ca­tion’ (76 per cent said it is very im­por­tant).

Job seek­ers also agree: 84 per cent said that ‘team­work’ is a very im­por­tant skill, 83 per cent said ‘time man­age­ment’ is very im­por­tant, and 79 per cent said ‘writ­ten com­mu­ni­ca­tion’ is very im­por­tant.

Most scarce skills

Less than one in three (32 per cent) em­ploy­ers claimed that it is ‘very dif­fi­cult’ to find good can­di­dates for ju­nior or mid-ca­reer po­si­tions. On the job seeker’s side, only a quar­ter (25 per cent) of them have claimed that it was ‘very dif­fi­cult’ to find jobs match­ing their skills level.

Ac­cord­ing to those sur­veyed, there is a much big­ger gap be­tween what em­ploy­ers and job seek­ers think when it comes to se­nior roles. Only about a quar­ter (24 per cent) of se­nior em­ploy­ees have re­ported that it is ‘very dif­fi­cult’ to find a job match­ing their skills. On the other side, the ma­jor­ity of busi­nesses (58 per cent) face chal­lenges in sourc­ing em­ploy­ees with rel­e­vant skills for se­nior po­si­tions.

When look­ing to hire for mid­ca­reer/ju­nior po­si­tions, 47 per cent of em­ploy­ers sur­veyed said that they face the most chal­lenges when search­ing for can­di­dates skilled at ‘cre­ative think­ing’. Forty-four per cent of em­ploy­ers said ‘global mind­set’ is very dif­fi­cult to find and 43 per cent said ‘vis­ual think­ing’ is very dif­fi­cult to find.

Job seek­ers seem to tell a sim­i­lar story by rat­ing them­selves low­est on two of these skills. Only 50 per cent of job seek­ers claimed to be ‘very good’ at global mind­set and 53 per cent claimed to be ‘very good’ at vis­ual think­ing. How­ever, there is a dis­crep­ancy in their eval­u­a­tion of their cre­ative think­ing skills against what em­ploy­ers said: 59 per cent of job seek­ers eval­u­ate them­selves as ‘very good’ while 47 per cent of em­ploy­ers say it is ‘very dif­fi­cult’ to find this skill.

Data for the Mid­dle East Skills Re­port was col­lected on­line. A to­tal of 6,229 in­ter­views with job seek­ers and em­ploy­ers have been com­pleted.

At the re­gional level, 65 per cent of em­ploy­ers be­lieved there is a skills gap in the mar­ket while seven per cent said there isn’t

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