Policy recommendations

The policy recommendations below provide policymakers with options for promoting technological adoption and adaptation in the region and enhanced inclusiveness in the demand for jobs.

  1. Promote remote working modalities for the integration of more women into the labour force, and to reduce female unemployment in the Arab region. This is most relevant in countries where political instability and traditional cultural norms are key issues impeding female employment. Remote working can be used as a tool to reduce female unemployment and increase their economic empowerment.
  2. Encourage Arab Governments to guide nationwide skill sets by reducing labour market information gaps. This could be done by building labour market information systems and creating the right upskilling/reskilling/ technical and vocational education and training (TVET) programmes based on ESCWA Skills Monitor recommendations.
  3. Enforce laws that enhance gender equality in job applications and in recruitment to enhance equal opportunity and representation in employment. Lobbying legislators, gender committees and international organizations can be effective, and enhancing gender equality may ultimately improve productivity, competitiveness, and overall economic performance.
  4. Incorporate additional e-accessibility features for persons with disabilities within job hubs, such as ensuring a text-to-speech function and adjusting the colour contrast and font size of job descriptions. This can be ensured by following the WCAG e-accessibility standards in the design of websites, digital platforms and mobile applications to lessen the risk of alienating a large candidate pool in the job market.
  5. Enhance technological infrastructure, facilitate human capital accumulation, digitize government services, and assist in the AI augmentation of tasks to enhance productivity and create additional employment. Additional technological adoption can create more jobs and increase wages due to higher productivity.
  6. Develop appropriate reskilling and upskilling programmes as an attempt to prepare employees at risk to move to jobs with close proximities, to avoid labour substitution (full automation of activities). This can be done using the ESCWA Skills Forest by investigating jobs that are at risk of full automation and their associated skills.
  7. Extend diversification and structural transformation efforts to create multiple cores in the Skills Forest as a plan for long term sustainable economic development. Building infrastructure for digital economies can help keep pace with the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
  8. Prioritize human centred policies. Since individuals can lose their human capital over time, upskilling and reskilling programmes can refresh human capital knowledge, and increase employability for everybody, especially older employees that have a higher chance of not finding a job after being laid off.