The UAE can generate an additional 43,000 jobs by 2030 by closing the skills gap, World Economic Forum said on Monday.
By closing the skills gap, the UAE will gain $4.3 billion (Dh15.8 billion) in GDP, which equates to 0.6 per cent of the country’s GDP, the Forum said in its latest report “Upskilling for Shared Prosperity” launched in cooperation with PwC.
“That is why it is important to develop transferable skills that allow for reskilling for sectors that are growing.”
In order to advance skills, the UAE launched the Accelerator programme to highlight skills gaps and formulate new business models and practical tools to close the gap.
The report said many oil-based economies, such as the GCC countries, face bigger challenges because capital and skilled nationals are heavily employed in sectors that are not the most innovative or subject to high long-term growth.
It warned that investments in skills are not resulting in high economic and social returns in the Middle-East, North Africa and Turkey (Menat), primarily because of a mismatch in jobs and an unbalanced economy made up of a dominant public sector and underdeveloped private sector.
“Youth unemployment stands at 30 per cent throughout the Mena region, twice the global average. This can distort incentives to acquire relevant skills as young workers with some formal education prefer well-paid public-sector jobs,” WEF said.
It is estimated that upskilling could lead to net creation of 5.3 million new jobs by 2030 and Covid-19 has accelerated the need to implement an ambitious global upskilling agenda because it is forcing digitalisation and automation at a more rapid pace. Rising to this challenge could result in faster progress and even larger economic benefits by 2030.
Taking into account two scenarios, World Economic Forum said the accelerated scenario assumes skills gaps are closed by 2028, adding $6.5 trillion to global GDP by 2030 — while the core scenario assumes the skills gaps are closed by 2030, adding $5 trillion to global GDP by 2030.
Saadia Zahidi, managing director of World Economic Forum, said millions of people are already being left behind because of volatile market conditions, the effects of Covid-19, or because they work in industries that are being replaced by new sectors.
“All of this highlights a critical need for reskilling and upskilling. There is an enormous opportunity to reconfigure the world of work at this critical juncture and embark on an upskilling revolution that will give people across the world the ability to participate fully in the future of work, whatever that might be,” she said.
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