Oliver Wyman in collaboration with INJAZ Al-Arab conducted a survey of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) youth to gauge their perspectives of the private sector and evaluate demands of the future labor market. The survey was taken by 949 respondents between the ages of 16 and 35 and covered four specific areas including the demographics of the respondents, private sector growth drivers and industries, challenges and successes of entrepreneurs and employees and implications of the digital economy on the education system.
The perception of the future of the private sector in the MENA region is generally positive for more than half more than half (56%) of the respondents. The survey also revealed 84% of the region’s youth respondents believe the private sector will continue to grow in the region.
Positive opinions on the private sector – yet institutional reforms are required to fully harness opportunities of growth industries and the digital economy
The survey shows that the youth are increasingly aware of the value of the private sector, clearly outlining the areas that need to be focused on as they enter the workforce in the current economic climate. It also revealed three broad strategic initiatives required by governments to sustain economic growth, create jobs in the private sector, and to reap the benefits of the future digital economy. These include improving institutional capabilities and regulations, adapting the educational system to have a stronger focus on skills, and attracting domestic and foreign investments in key sectors.
The survey also revealed three strategic initiatives are requisite to sustain economic growth, create jobs in the private sector and to reap the full benefits of the digital economy.
Three strategic initiatives are requisite to sustain economic growth, create jobs in the private sector and to reap the full benefits of the digital economy
Studies by the World Bank have found that the MENA region will need to create about six million new jobs each year to absorb new labour-market entrants and bring down unemployment, especially amongst the youth. New economic realities in the region have led to a push for more innovation, entrepreneurship and private sector diversification. A strong private sector is required to sustain non-hydrocarbon economic development and meet the labor market demands of MENA’s fast growing and youthful population.
INJAZ is a non-profit organization that promotes youth education and training in the Arab world. It is the regional arm of Junior Achievement Worldwide (JAW). Focal areas of education comprise workforce readiness, financial literacy and entrepreneurship. With a network of 14 ministries of education, over 3,000 schools, 418 universities and 45,000 corporate volunteers, INJAZ aims to equip the youth with the skills demanded by the private sector to foster employability and job creation. Since 1999, 3 million students have completed INJAZ programs across the MENA region.