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ME to see huge talent oversupply in 10 years

Dubai, November 17, 2013

The Middle East region will produce a surplus of skilled workers in the next decade as technology advances and the number of university graduates continues to increase, said a report.

Meanwhile in North America and Europe demand for talent will surpass supply, according to Talent 2021, a global research study by Towers Watson and Oxford Economics.

Towers Watson is a leading global professional services company that helps organisations improve performance through effective people, risk and financial management.

With 14,000 associates around the world, the company offers solutions in the areas of benefits, talent management, rewards, and risk and capital management.

The study, which includes a survey of 352 human resource executives from around the world and in-depth interviews with leading multinational firms, examines how rapid globalisation and the transformation of business models in virtually every industry will affect workforce and employer needs in the future.  

By 2021, the Middle East is expected to see above-average growth of over 13 per cent in the volume of talent demanded by businesses in the region. Despite this, the number of skilled workers being produced in this time is predicted to exceed demand by between 0.1 per cent and 0.6 per cent per year, according to the study.

"This is in contrast to Western Europe, where despite modest growth of 3.5 per cent in the demand for talent by 2021, there is still estimated to be a talent deficit of between 0.4 per cent and 1.1 per cent per annum in each major economy providing an opportunity for highly educated workers from the Middle East to export their skills to other markets where demand is higher," the Talent 2021 study added.

Ahmad Waarie, the managing consultant, Towers Watson Middle East, said: "The changing global economy, advancement in technology and access to higher education has led to a market shift that will impact the supply of and demand for skilled talent over the next decade in the UAE."

"For the emirate to continue its growth and develop as a global business hub it is important for organisations to retain their staff through innovative and creative ways that nurture and develop talent," he pointed out.

The study also suggests that perceived demand for well-educated, skilled workers from the Middle East will require local and multinational companies there to address employee loyalty and engagement, in order to thwart a potential ‘brain drain’ in the long term.

The other key findings of the Talent 2021 study are:
•Business transformation requires new skills. The vast majority of companies are engaging in transformation initiatives to rethink their global strategies, business models and organisational approaches. This transformation also requires a repositioning of employee skill sets across all levels of seniority.
•Digital knowledge, agile thinking, interpersonal and communication skills, and global operating capabilities will be talent areas in high demand over the next five to 10 years.
•Companies will need to address the talent mismatch. In the developed world, where talent shortages in a number of managerial and technical fields are expected to persist, companies will be forced to think more explicitly about the trade-offs among outsourcing work, offshoring staff and retraining workers.
•Sources and expectations of talent are evolving. There will be an increased emphasis on working in several different countries throughout one’s career. How and where talent works is also shifting, including the increased frequency of alternate work schedules and work locations, including working virtually.

Commenting on the study’s relevance for UAE businesses, Waarie said: "Developing sustainable employee engagement is crucial for any business that aims to achieve long-term growth and productivity. Employees that understand the objectives of an organisation, as well as their role in the process, are more likely to achieve work goals and develop a strong connection to the organisation."

"This in turn helps to improve talent retention and workforce stability,” he added.-TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Middle East | technology | talent |

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