MENA Business Leaders Express Optimisim and Confidence for Employment, Youth Development, Nationalisation

Results from the first MENA Labour Market Confidence Index Show buoyancy ahead of HR Summit & Expo

Dubai, UAE, 08 October 2014: Confidence and optimism are the two emerging themes to come out of a new flagship study of 1,250 organisational and HR leaders from across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

The first MENA Labour Market Confidence Index has revealed that the majority of business leaders in the region have expressed stability and optimism for 2015. Half of the respondents (51%) believe 2015 will be as good as this year for employment, while 42% have expressed optimism for their organisations.

The flagship study was conceptualised by Informa, organisers of the upcoming HR Summit & Expo, running from 20-22 October 2014 at the Dubai International Exhibition Centre.

The research was exclusively designed and led by The Talent Enterprise, the region’s premier human capital think-and-do tank. It focusses on understanding the labour market growth outlook from experts throughout the region on employment, wages, youth employability and nationalisation.

“We hope that the Labour Market Confidence Index helps inform and shape the overall policy and HR direction in our nations and organisations. The region currently faces some extraordinary opportunities and challenges with regards to its talent,” said Ramy Bayyour, Show Director of the HR Summit and Expo.
“With its projected levels of economic growth, an unprecedented increase in its youth population, some of the fastest rates of increase amongst female participation in the workplace in the world, and dramatically changing patterns of immigration, we are witnessing a laboratory for labour market reform.”

On announcing the results, David Jones, Managing Director of The Talent Enterprise and labour market economist, said, “We are absolutely delighted with the overwhelming participation and interest in this study from leaders across the region. This is the single largest effort of its kind, unprecedented in scope and scale.”

Mr. Jones further added that the research, “Clearly highlights the role that HR professionals need to play in shaping the future of the region in terms of human capital development, especially in the UAE in preparation for Expo 2020. We need to build a resilient, skilled and diversified workforce contributing to all sectors of the economy.”

With the full report exclusively published and distributed among delegates at the HR Summit in October, the executive summary identifies five top trends from the respondents:

1. An indication of confidence: 46% believe the overall economic outlook in their countries has improved for the better, while 45% state it has remained the same.
2. Progressive labour legislation: more than 75% believe the region’s labour legislation is progressive, clear and supportive towards employment.
3. A vote for caution: most leaders (68%) highlight a continued trend for restrained, moderate expansion, with 20% indicating rapid expansion and growth.
4. Nationalisation and employability: talent acquisition, nationalisation and developing the younger generation came up as the top human capital priorities.
5. A reason for optimism: while 51% of HR leaders believe 2015 will be the same as this year, 42% believe it will reap more rewards, while only 7% are cautious for the year ahead.

The 11th edition of the HR Summit and Expo will feature six of the world’s best in-class thinkers and inspirational speakers.

The line-up of business gurus feature three of the most respected international HR and leadership experts: Marshal Goldsmith, the world’s number one leadership thinker; Dave Ulrich, the most influential person in the HR globally; and Liz Wiseman, author of the Wall Street Journal bestseller ‘Multipliers: how the best leaders make everyone smarter’.

Additionally, former Olympic swimmer and world champion Mark Foster will be joined by Danish football coach and best-selling author Rasmus Ankersen and silver medal winning British Paralympic triathlon champion Karen Darke to address the region’s HR business community.

Regional and international heads of HR and business leaders join the speaker list, addressing audiences on topics including talent management, HR for start-ups and SMEs, compensation and performance and professional development.

Running alongside the conference and exhibition is the Middle East HR Excellence Awards which will showcase the best HR talent in the Middle East and honour professionals in the public and private sectors. Winners will be celebrated across nine separate categories at a gala dinner on Tuesday 21 October.

The HR Summit and Expo is supported by Headline Sponsors Daman, LinkedIn, Spire, Profiles International, Ramco Systems, and CEB; Gold Sponsor Tanfeeth; Silver Sponsors ManpowerGroup, BTS and Zurich.

To request a copy the MENA Labour Market Confidence Index 2014 Executive Summary, email priyanka.ravindran@informa.com.

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