Arab jobseekers look to government
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.”