Want Growth and Skilled Workers? Collaborate, Innovate and Harness Disruption!

Want Growth and Skilled Workers? Collaborate, Innovate and Harness Disruption!

April 29, 2015 at 12:04pm

First, the good news: Middle East and North Africa (MENA) governments are investing in diversification, local talent, innovation and entrepreneurship like never before. On the other hand, bringing these projects to fruition cannot happen fast enough.

Why? Let some numbers tell the story: 30% of the MENA population is between 15 and 29 years old; youth unemployment averages approximately 25%; fewer than 20% of adult women are in paid employment; and up to 90% of government jobs in some GCC countries are held by nationals.

GE is the Founding Sponsor of The Economist’s inaugural Future of Work: Middle East event being held today in Dubai with a goal of supporting regional efforts to diversify economies and develop a highly skilled local workforce. At the event, Nabil Habayeb, President and Chief Executive Officer of GE Middle East, North Africa and Turkey, discussed how to drive innovation, job creation and economic diversification – crucial strategic goals for the region – through the power of collaboration with local government and private-sector partners.

He also referenced GE’s 2015 Outlook on “Mapping the Future of Work in MENAT,” which finds huge scope for optimism and opportunity in countries throughout the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey by leveraging the Industrial Internet, Advanced Manufacturing and the Global Brain — three forces disrupting the Future of Work.

The updated paper notes that since the original paper was published in September, the sharp drop in oil prices has increased pressure on a number of regional governments to be more efficient in allocating reduced financial resources to achieve their goals.

As well, since September, it has become even more obvious that the pace of digitally driven innovation has accelerated, providing an exciting avenue for innovation and collaboration, which are required to reap benefits of the Future of Work for the region in terms of productivity, sustainability, job creation, and living standards.

Echoing the paper, Habayeb told the audience that through collaboration and the use of these disruptive forces, the region could generate innovative technologies and solutions in sustainability and efficiency, and — longer-term — enable the development of local and regional supply chains and ecosystems to accelerate learning, innovation and economic growth.

For a quirkier and more informal exploration of these themes, visit GE Hewar’s Shape Your Future and take the 12-question survey on questions like “What would you like to print in 3D?” or “In 2030, who will lead manufacturing: humans or robots?” Explore how thousands of people across the region have answered the survey.

GE has been working with partners across the region for more than 80 years, empowering governments, companies and workers with the technologies and solutions to address their toughest challenges.

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