16.03.2012 - Education Sector

Arab States strive to create employment and match jobs with skills

©ILO/Deloche P.

If you are a first-time job-seeker or a young, educated citizen in the Arab States, finding work is a struggle. If you are a woman, the struggle is even greater.

Despite positive economic growth in recent years, the labour market in the region remains stagnant and unemployment rates for 20-24 year-olds can run as high as 24.4%. Average female unemployment rates (31.7%) are considerably higher than the male rates, making women vulnerable to poverty.

The regional economy is simply not creating sufficient numbers of new jobs to meet the needs of job-seekers. Emigration from the region is consequently high. Three of the top 10 emigration countries in the world in 2005 were Arab States (Morocco, Egypt and Algeria).

The two major challenges facing Arab States in the next decade are creating employment for the millions of people coming onto the labour market and making sure that job-seekers have both qualifications and the appropriate skills and competences, which are currently lacking.

These and other questions will be addressed at a Regional Expert Meeting for Arab States in Muscat Oman (17-19 March 2012) which is taking place in advance of the third International Congress on TVET in Shanghai, China (13-16 May 2012).

This regional meeting will review the state of TVET across Arab states; begin charting a strategic approach to developing TVET in the region and use TVET to support national and regional development. The meeting also aims to enable the Arab States to collectively influence the future directions of TVET which will be adopted by the World Congress in Shanghai.

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