Arab job­seek­ers look to govern­ment

7 Days in Dubai - - NEWS - @ThatPad­dyRyan

In­sta­gram snap­per Akis Ros­ales took this colour­ful im­age of a car­toon mon­tage at City Walk, which was liked my more than 3,900 fel­low users. She wrote: “Found the edgy street art corners around City Walk Dubai.” More than two thirds of young Arabs still hope to land jobs in govern­ment, de­spite sig­nif­i­cant at­tempts to en­cour­age them into ca­reers in the pri­vate sec­tor.

This was among the key find­ings of the Arab Youth Sur­vey, pub­lished by the pub­lic re­la­tions firm ASDA’A Bur­son-Marsteller to co­in­cide with the Global Is­lamic Econ­omy Sum­mit in Dubai.

Across the Arab world, 50 per cent of young peo­ple said they would pre­fer a govern­ment or pub­lic sec­tor job to pri­vate sec­tor work.

How­ever, this rose to 70 per cent in the Gulf states of Saudi Ara­bia, the UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait and Oman, the sur­vey found.

The find­ings come at a time when Saudi Ara­bia is slim­ming down its pub­lic sec­tor and the UAE is urg­ing its na­tion­als to forge out ca­reers in en­trepreneur­ship.

Just this week, an es­ti­mated 2,000 Emi­rati and Arab stu­dents and 50 com­pa­nies were brought to­gether to en­cour­age un­der­grad­u­ates to con­sider the pri­vate sec­tor.

Su­nil John, CEO of ASDA’A Bur­son-Marsteller CEO, said: “Per­suad­ing young peo­ple to take on roles in the pri­vate sec­tor is es­sen­tial to cre­at­ing a strong, sus­tain­able econ­omy. These find­ings By Pa­trick Ryan 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.”

Only 15 per cent of those polled in the GCC said they would pre­fer pri­vate sec­tor work, with 14 per cent re­ply­ing they had no pref­er­ence.

The sur­vey saw re­searchers con­duct 3,500 face-to-face in­ter­views with Arab men and women aged 18-24.

John said: “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.

“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.”

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