The pattern of development adopted in the Gulf countries is the focus of all negative and positive developments in the labour market, said Saqr Ghobash, Minister of Labour and Chairman of the National Media Council.
He warned that unless faults in the current development pattern are fixed, the challenges posed by nationalisation of the GCC labour market would always be questioned.
The Minister's remarks came in a research paper he presented at the 15th Annual Conference of the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR). The three-day conference titled, "Education and the Requirements of the GCC Labour Market", started on Monday.
Ghobash said the GCC development pattern relied on investing in sectors that need large numbers of expatriate labour, therefore, the annual rate of recruiting expatriates went up to 31 per cent in the UAE and 17.8 per cent in Bahrain.
"The majority of those are unskilled labourers. and the rate of recruitment exceeded growth rates of real national GDP, something which negatively affected the sustainability of growth as well as job opportunities for the nationals of GCC countries," he said.
GCC nationals account for just 0.4 per cent of the workforce in the UAE and 20 per cent in Bahrain.
As the low-wage jobs in the private sector do not come with attractive incentives, the GCC nationals do not show apply for such jobs, he said.
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