In a present world comprising of austerity and high unemployment, getting a job is not so easy. Employers are not only interested in the results of academic exams, but also skills. (Euro news). Hence vocational training has gained more importance with changing times.
To understand more about the role of growing need and demand of vocational training in the region, we first need to address some key issues existing in the current educational system:
What are the problems?
One of the primary aims of economic diversification is to create new jobs in the private sector to tackle youth unemployment among nationals in the GCC and ensure sustainable growth. However, if nationals don’t have the skills they need, expats will continue to be the more attractive option
Employers struggle to find the skills they need, especially at entry level. Only 16% of employers believe that curricula are currently aligned with private sector needs
As a result, governments are not managing to create the skills and attitudes they need to match the ambition of their national visions. The skills gap, however, is getting bigger — not just in the GCC — as knowledge economies demand more advanced competences.
There is an urgent need to get more GCC nationals working in the private sector. The old model of employing nationals in high-paying government jobs is no longer sustainable. It is damaging for the public sector: budgets are strained and government businesses struggle to become more efficient. It is damaging for the private sector too, which relies heavily on expatriates for its workforce. In the UAE and Qatar, only 1% of the private sector workforce is made up of nationals, rising to a high of just 18% in Saudi Arabia.
Youth unemployment is already among the highest in the world, boosted by the fast-growing population. Saudi Arabia has the highest rate in the GCC at 30%.
Even in the UAE, where per capital income is high and the national population relatively small, the rate has reached 10% and the trend is upward.
Why is Vocational Training a massive investment opportunity?
GCC governments are investing heavily in the education sector and have pledged a further US $24 billion by 2017. Saudi Arabia’s investment in its human capital has doubled in the past five years, for example, and now accounts for around a quarter of total government spending — one of the highest levels in the world.
Where spending is already high, such as in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, it is important that spending is strategic, focusing on human capital – not only in teaching students, but also in training their teachers – rather than focusing on constructing and equipping schools.
However, new hires often lack the skills and behaviors that would enable them to build long and successful careers in the private sector. The biggest challenge is high salary expectations. But a third say behavioral attributes, such as communication skills, discipline, commitment and attitudes toward employment make it difficult to retain nationals. Lots of work need in soft skills such as punctuality, innovation, adaptability, handling stress, commitment, conflict resolution, self-motivation, leadership, problem solving, willingness to learn, team spirit etc.
How can Kaplan Genesis help?
At Kaplan Genesis we follow a double helix approach to professional development. We believe improving decision-making by developing both Behavioral Confidence and Technical Competence is the very DNA of great leadership. Our programs deliver the right mix of behavioral and technical development throughout to drive performance and produce results.
Kaplan Genesis is part of the global Kaplan family- the world’s largest diverse educator established for over 75 years.