Survey shows 70% of GCC youth prefer government jobs
More than two-thirds of young people in the Gulf look to their governments for jobs, new research reveals.
The Arab Youth Survey found that 70 per cent of GCC youth preferred public sector work over jobs offered by the private sector.
Across the Middle East as a whole, half of young people said they would prefer a government job to private sector work.
The research found that young people in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait and Oman think that private sector salaries, benefits and holidays are poorer than those in the public realm.
When asked what would entice them to work in the private sector, more than half cited higher wages (51 per cent), better healthcare and other benefits (35 per cent), more paid holidays (29 per cent) and shorter working hours (27 per cent).
In the GCC, where governments have traditionally employed the majority of the national workforce, 15 per cent of young people said they would prefer to work in the private sector, while another 14 per cent had no preference and 1 per cent did not know.
Sunil John, chief executive of Asda’a Burson-Marsteller, which commissioned the annual survey, said that persuading young people to take on roles in the private sector was essential to create a strong, sustainable economy.
“These findings show that despite ongoing efforts to make the private sector more appealing to young Gulf Arabs, the message isn’t getting through as fast as governments or the private sector would like.”
Mr John said that initiatives and policies – such as Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, the removal of subsidies on fuel and the introduction of a value-added tax across the Gulf – showed that governments were serious about new economic realities.
“However, it seems balancing expectations about public sector work with the realities of private sector employment for those young nationals entering the workforce will require more effort,” he said.
Updated: October 12, 2016 04:00 AM