Gulf countries are missing big opportunities when it comes to making the most of their populations’ economic potential, according to a new report. Kuwait and Saudi Arabia are the worst offenders in the region for optimising its workforce talent during all starge of the working life time, said the World Economic Forum’s Human Capital Report 2016.
Kuwait ranked 97th out of a total of 130 countries covered in the report, with just 60 percent of its talent being realised while Saudi Arabia (87th) fare little better with 63 percent.
Bahrain was ranked the best Gulf nation but it was only placed 46th globally with a 72 percent score, well behind the top ranked countries of Finland, Norway and Switzerland which are effectively utilising about 85 percent of their full human capital potential.
Qatar (66th) and the UAE (69th) both achieved a score of 68 percent, the report said. Elsewhere in the Middle East and North Africa region, Morocco (98), Tunisia (101) and Algeria (117) made up the lower end of the region’s rankings, ahead of Yemen (129) and Mauritania (130) which were bottom of the global list.
In addition to measuring the 130 countries that comprise the Report’s Human Capital Index, it also analyses a mix of public and private data from online platforms such as Care.com, LinkedIn, Uber and Upwork to generate insights on skills gaps and the potential of the online gig economy.
“Today’s transition to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, combined with a crisis of governance, creates an urgent need for the world’s educators and employers to fundamentally rethink human capital through dialogue and partnerships. The adaptation of educational institutions, labour market policy and workplaces are crucial to growth, equality and social stability,” said Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum.
Across the Index, a total of 19 nations tapped 80 percent of their human capital potential or more, while 40 countries scored between 70-80 percent. A further 38 countries score between 60-70 percent, while 28 countries scored between 50-60 percent. Five countries remained below 50 percent in 2016. On average only one region - North America - passed the 80 percent threshold while the Middle East and North Africa was in the 60-70 percent range.