Saudi Arabia’s Youth BulgeJanuary 4th, 2012 by Simon Haddock
With a boom in youth unemployment, Saudi Arabia is struggling to plug the job gap but with a number of high profile engineering projects, will there be another bout of talent shortages?
Despite investment in higher education and degrees, which has seemingly failed to produce the quality talent required It is estimated that two-fifths of those aged 20-24 are unemployed. Not wanting to following other parts of the world, there is a real social risk if unemployment continues to rise in Saudi Arabia at the current rate. The labour ministry is taking this threat seriously saying it needs to create 5 million jobs by 2030 to arrest this trend.
The jobs created will be intended to absorb engineering talent leaving schools and universities and the main benefit will be that Saudi nationals will occupy these roles. Public sector roles are historically filled with nationals but these are at threat as employers sometimes tend to recruit overseas nationals.
In a survey published by gulftalent.com, Saudi talent prefer companies who can offer structured training and career progression but moves to expand university education have failed to engage this talent. Education consultants are insisting to widen the options available to the young unemployed including encouraging the government to invest in skills-based training to prepare employees for a worklife out of university.
It is proposed that vocational and technical training to be implemented at the education stage, thus preparing talent for all aspects of employment and ensuring that employers in Saudi Arabia can tap into a willing and ready talent pool.