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Mohamed_Hamid_Abdallah

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					  Youth Unemployment &
 Employability in MENA
    Region, with Special
Reference to Saudi Arabia

       Dr. Mohamed Hamid Abdallah
             drmhamid@yahoo.com
              Introduction
1.   Unemployment in the World is
      at all times high.
2.   Due to the International Financial
     Crisis which surprised the World
     in the later months of 2008, this
     unempolyment reminded the
     people with the unemployment
     rates during the Great
     Depression (1929-1933).
3.   Half of the World unemployed
     people are under the age of 24
     years, although they represent
     25% of the World population.
4.   Youth unemployment in the
     MENA Region is the highest in the
     World.
5.   In Saudi Arabia, youth
     unemployment in increasing and
     at the same time, foreign
     expatriates are also increasing.
     This raises the question of youth
     employability in this country.
                   Objectives
The main Objective of this paper is to study youth
  unemployment and employability in MENA
  Region and Saudi Arabia, and to suggest
  relevant solutions to reduce youth
  unemployment and increase their employability.
  The detailed objectives are to study the
  following:
 The nature of the current unemployment among
  youth in MENA Region in general and in Saudi
  Arabia in particular.
  – Employability of youth in MENA Region and in Saudi
    Arabia.
  – Evaluation of the implemented solutions in Saudi
    Arabia.
  – Experiences of other countries and how can they be
    useful in this Region and in Saudi Arabia?
  – Results and recommended solutions.
       Reasons for Youth Unemployment
             in the MENA Region
   The nature of youth unemployment in this
    region is mostly structural, especially among
    university graduates. Meaning that their
    specializations do not match the available
    jobs requirements (Supply of labour do not
    match the demand for labour).
   The high rates of population growth in this
    region in the face of slow economic growth.
    Meaning that the economics of the MENA
    Region countries can hardly create enough
    jobs to coupe with their higher than the world
    average rates of population growth
    (macroeconomics unbalance).
 The increasing rates of female
  participation in the labour markets of
  these countries.
 Unemployability: Unemployability
  could be due to the unemployed
  person because he doesn't meet the
  job requirement and duties, or due to
  the employer who offer a lower salary
  and benefits than can be accepted by
  the potential employee.
           Evaluation of the
        Implemented Solutions
 All MENA countries tried and still trying
  to solve this problem, which is the
  most important problem facing them
  currently, using different means and
  policies, but in vain.
 For example, Saudi Arabia
  implemented the following solutions:
    – Saudization, especially the private sector
      jobs because 86% of its employees are
      foreigners.
– Saudi Universities tried to make their
  graduates qualifications match the labour
  market requirements.
– Training and retraining programs and
  courses in and outside the country.
– Subsidizing the private sector salaries.
– Financing programs to encourage
  unemployed youth to invest in small and
  medium enterprises (SMEs).
– Opening new types of jobs for females.
 Experiences of other Countries

 The most popular experiences in
  youth employment are the
  German and Canadian ones.
 The German Experience:
 – Target groups are: deprived children,
   addicts, disabled, school drop outs
   and new migrants.
 – Programs: Vocational preparation,
   Vocational support programs and
   Joint companies training programs.
   The Canadian Experiences:
    – Target groups are: all of those facing
      employment barriers such as: single
      parents Aboriginals youth, disables, recent
      immigrants, rural youth newly relocating in
      urban areas and high school drop outs.
    – Programs: career focus, skills link and
      summer work experiences programs.
    – A complementary awareness program
      appreviated as YES is established to
      respond to specific labour requirements
      and adjustment over time. It addresses
      employers, employees and community
      organizations (NGOs).
   Comparison Between the
German & Canadian Experiences
   The target groups are almost similar.
   The German programs are most active and
    have specific objectives.
   The Canadian programs are more general
    and based upon providing guidance and
    consulting services.
   The German programs are more successful
    in meeting their objectives but they cost
    more money than the Canadian ones.
   MENA countries can make use of both these
    experiences, by adopting their strengths
    and avoiding their weaknesses.
                    Results
1.   Youth unemployment is a world wide
     phenomena.
2.   It is at all times high.
3.   MENA Region countries have the highest
     unemployment rate.
4.   Although the private sector is employing
     86% of the 8.4 million employees,
     unemployment among Saudi Youth is
     crereising.
5.   Unemployment is the highest in this region
     in the non-oil producing MENA countries
     compared to oil-rich MENA countries
     Recommended Solutions
1.   Improve the Microeconomic imbalances in this
     region by appropriate labour policies.
2.   Make use of the strengths of the German and
     Canadian experiences and avoid their weaknesses.
3.   Saudi Arabia and other oil rich Arab countries
     should do their best to reduce their dependence on
     foreign labour.
4.   Increase the employability and productivity of
     youth in this region co-operative education,
     continuous education, training and retraining will
     help increase.
5.   Finance employed youth small and medium
     enterprise and nurse them till they stand on their
     feet.
    Unserviceable Hope
           ً‫أال ليت الشباب يعود يوما‬
            ‫فأخبره بما فعل المشيب‬

     I hope youth will come back
 To tell him what the elderly age had
               done to me

        ‫وبركاته‬‫السالم عليكم ورحمة اهلل‬
                            ً
            ‫وشكرا لحسن إصغائكم‬

				
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