|03 July, 2018

Saudi Arabia’s skilled talent shortages mean salaries could soar

A number of initiatives and programs have been designed to attract more Saudi nationals working outside the Kingdom

Data collectors sit at screens in new the Global Center for Combatting Extremist Ideology as they wait for a tour by U.S. President Donald Trump and Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to commence in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 21, 2017. Image used for illustrative purpose only.

Data collectors sit at screens in new the Global Center for Combatting Extremist Ideology as they wait for a tour by U.S. President Donald Trump and Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to commence in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 21, 2017. Image used for illustrative purpose only.

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Salaries for highly skilled workers could boom as talent shortages take hold across the Middle East and Africa, according to the Salary Surge, a new study conducted by Korn Ferry.

Korn Ferry is a US-based global research initiative that helps organizations succeed by releasing the full potential of people through talent strategy tools and consulting services.

At a roundtable in Riyadh on Tuesday, Michael Mamish, associate client partner at Korn Ferry, said the study reveals that company payrolls in Saudi Arabia and the UAE could soar long-term owing to skilled talent shortages.

Left unchecked, the salary surge could add more than $2.5 trillion to annual payrolls by 2030, he said.

In the UAE, while overall wage increases are just keeping pace with inflation, salaries for in-demand workers could add as much as $5.9 billion to the total national payroll by 2030, a 9 percent increase, whereas businesses in Saudi Arabia could see a wage surge of more than 17 percent, adding a potential $33.6 billion to the national payrolls.

Jonathan Holmes, Korn Ferry managing director for MENA region, said: “There are plenty of people, but not enough with the skills their organizations will need to survive.”

According to the study, there will be a total labor deficit of 660,000 by 2030 in the Kingdom.

The study, however, expressed hope that Vision 2030 would do much to fill this predicted gap, because a number of initiatives and programs have been designed to attract more Saudi nationals working outside the Kingdom.

The study further reveals that the technology, media and telecommunications sector could be hardest hit with a potential wage premium of $2.4 billion by 2030. It is followed by the manufacturing sector, which faces a potential increase of $2.1 billion.

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