Tuesday, August 16, 2022

QATAR/ KUWAIT: Shortage of skilled workers in Qatar and Kuwait

PwC conducted a survey of more than 1,500 employees across the Middle East, in which three quarters (75 per cent) of respondents in Kuwait and 60 per cent in Qatar said their country had a shortage of people with specialised skills

PRAVASISAMWAD.COM

A new report from PwC has pointed out that the countries in the Gulf, which have always been considered top destinations for expatriates looking for greener pastures, have started facing high shortages of skilled workers, reported zawya.com.

PwC conducted a survey of more than 1,500 employees across the Middle East, in which three quarters (75 per cent) of respondents in Kuwait and 60 per cent in Qatar said their country had a shortage of people with specialised skills.

In Saudi Arabia, the majority (58 per cent) of respondents acknowledged that there was a skilled labour shortage in the kingdom, while 46 per cent in the UAE said the same thing.

Workers who have specialized skills are often more sought after compared to their peers that have only general skills. A shortage means there are less skilled candidates applying for roles than vacancies.

With the shortage, employers in the region are recognising the importance of retaining staff with skills. In PwC’s survey, 38 per cent of respondents across the Middle East, slightly more than the global average, said their companies had increased salaries as a retention strategy to retain skilled talent. “This may reflect the increasing tendency of employers, especially in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, to raise salaries rather than hire scarce and therefore expensive foreign talent to address skills and labour shortages,” PwC said in its report.

The proportion of workers likely to quit their jobs in the region was higher than the global average of 19 per cent. Gen Z and millennials in the Middle East were the ones that are more likely to quit

Businesses are also taking other steps to address the shortage, with nearly half (47 percent) of respondents saying that their companies are upskilling their staff, supporting workers with physical and mental well-being (33 per cent) and automating and/ or enhancing work via technology (32 per cent).

Besides skills shortage, organisations in the region also need to address staff turnover. About a third (30 per cent) of workers in the region said they were extremely or very likely to look for a new job in the next year.

The proportion of workers likely to quit their jobs in the region was higher than the global average of 19 per cent. Gen Z and millennials in the Middle East were the ones that are more likely to quit.

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Tirthankar Ghosh
Tirthankar Ghosh is a senior journalist and presently Managing Editor, Newsline Publications. He has also been writing for well over 15 years for the New York-based Air Cargo News Flying Typers.

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