Symposium on 'The Labor Market in the GCC Countries'
Date : 29-31 October 2007 Venue : - Qatar

The General Secretariat for Development Planning (GSDP) hosted the GCC Labour Market Symposium in Doha on 29 – 31 October 2007. The symposium addressed recent trends and developments in the labor market including the use of new analytical methods to improve the generation of employment indicators and related indices.

Symposium brought together various participants from regional and international institutions and organizations, such as World Bank Institute, International Labour Organization (ILO), Statistical, Economic, Social Research and Training Centre for Islamic Countries (SESRIC), Arab Planning Institute, Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), GCC General Secretariat and other national actors in labour market.

At the Symposium, SESRIC has been represented by Dr. Savas Alpay, Director General of the SESRIC. He presented a study on Initiating a Vocational Education and Training Program for the Member Countries of the Arab Gulf Countries. Dr. Aplay talked about contribution of investments in human resources and improvement of the infrastructure to the development in the 21st century. In this regard, he pointed out that the GCC commands sufficient economic resources to enable member countries to attain a far more improved status in human development by developing and implementing appropriate modalities of cooperation. He also added that the existing vocational education and training infrastructure and technological base need to be enhanced so that the GCC member countries can respond properly to the contemporary labor market requirements.

The symposium discussed future goals related to improving the knowledge-based economy and developing the labor market as well as supporting decision making by using appropriate information. The following themes were proposed with a view to addressing the challenges in the labor market and presenting a global framework to support the generation of new job opportunities for GCC nationals and for developing their capabilities:

1. Importance of the labor market in the GCC socio- economic development context.
2. GCC manpower characteristics.
3. Local labor and private sector job vacancies.
4. Skills of non-national workers within the GCC countries.
5. Labor movement within the GCC geographical areas.
6. Labor laws in the GCC.
7. Female productivity within the GCC labor market.
8. Transfer of technology and its impact on job nationalization.
9. Relationship between the provision of training provided and curricula to GCC labor market needs.
10. Decentralization of education curricula as modules to enhance the building of the work force capabilities.
11. Labor market information systems within the GCC.
12. KBE as an assessment tool for recruitment of non-national workers.

The set of recommendations agreed at the end of the GCC Labour Market Symposium 2007 are grouped into four main areas:

A. Education and Training
B. Expatriate Labour Force and Nationalization of Jobs
C. Labour Legislation
D. Labour Market Information Systems

More about the Symposium