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MENA Talent Competitiveness Index a key benchmark for the region's nations to support talent development and compete for global talent
Source: INSEAD , Author: Posted by BI-ME staff
Posted: Mon June 15, 2015 10:58 am

UAE.  Governments, employers and academic institutions in the MENA region all have a role to play to address labour market inefficiencies, develop national talent, and ultimately drive long-term sustainability into the 21st century and beyond, according to the new MENA Talent Competitiveness Index (MTCI) report, developed by INSEAD, Centre for Economic Growth and PwC, and sponsored by the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

This report is the first regional edition of the Global Talent Competitiveness Report (GTCI) which has rapidly become a global benchmark for talent competitiveness since its first publication in 2013.

It is based on GTCI data and findings for nine Arabic-speaking countries in the MENA region: Algeria, Egypt, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Morocco, Qatar, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

This regional report is intended to aid regional policy makers, educational institutions, and other interested parties to identify policies and actions to support talent development and growth as a tool for competitiveness and innovation.

Talent in the MENA region has never been a more critical ingredient than it is today, and is a key area of focus for Nations across the region. Governments as well as private employers face multiple talent challenges, from unemployment to lack of technical skills, and are working hard to change the way in which talent is developed, attracted and retained to unleash the true potential of the region and its people in the years to come.

Bruno Lanvin, Executive Director for Global Indices at INSEAD, founder and co-editor of the Global Talent Competitiveness, stressed that "It is both symbolic and fitting that the first regional edition of GTCI should be focusing on the MENA region: with 65% of its population under the age of 25, the region needs to create some 100 million jobs in the next twenty years, which is a formidable challenge.

"On the other hand, this demographic dynamism is also a superb opportunity for the region to identify, nurture and develop its talents and provide them with the opportunity to contribute to the competitiveness, innovation and visibility of their respective national economies."

The 2015 MTCI identifies six key areas for action and makes recommendations to: help improve policy decisions and business strategies; enhance the quality and effectiveness of business-to-Government interactions in the area of talent; and attract global attention to policies in the MENA region to further the exchange of mutual experiences with other parts of the world.

INSEAD and PwC believe that MENA nations can make a significant and sustainable difference to grow and develop talent by focusing on six key areas of action:

• Building employable skills, by aligning education and vocational training to produce graduates with skills to meet the needs of the labour market, this drives economic competitiveness and reduces unemployment rates. Some of the region's skills gaps are sector specific (e.g. in education, engineering or logistics) while others cut across all sectors (entrepreneurship, leadership, big data and ICT for example). It is also important to keep in mind that vocational/technical skills (many of which can be learned on the job) will also remain critical to provide jobs and address labor market needs in MENA.

• Promoting openness and mobility to enable talent growth by looking more broadly at what attracts people to stay in or move to a particular country, and considering options to ease labour and immigration policies while establishing a transparent framework that balances reliance on expatriate and national workers

• Developing technology and ICT skills for the 21st century economy by developing ICT education and labour policies to grow a tech-savvy workforce that will meet increasing demand and enable all aspects of the economy to grow, and creating ICT business-supportive policies to encourage a dynamic labour market

• Cultivating innovation and entrepreneurship talent by connecting innovators and entrepreneurs, supporting innovation and entrepreneurship, and by preparing students to be creative problem solvers

• Creating an ecosystem for women’s success by creating strategies for women’s career launch, growth, retention, and long-term success, whilst exemplifying role models to encourage women to excel and lead in their personal careers

• Fostering the next generation of leaders by cultivating leadership qualities in the next generation, for example, by creating leadership programmes in schools that evolve into fast-track schemes at business organisations

"Talent in the MENA region has never been more important than it is today. Technological advances, which are occurring at a rate much faster than previously thought, and ever-increasing global interconnectedness have created a knowledge economy which relies more on talent today than ever before," says Hani Ashkar, Middle East Senior Partner, PwC.

"Although the MENA region still faces talent challenges, from unemployment to lack of technical skills, it is becoming clear that the way in which talent is developed, attracted and retained will play a critical role in unleashing the potential of the region in the years to come."

"The MENA Talent Competitiveness Index is a valuable tool for regional policy makers and private sector leaders in benchmarking the region's strengths and challenges in developing talent – a critical component to ensuring the region's competitiveness and ability to provide the jobs needed in the next decade," said Patricia McCall, Executive Director at the Centre for Economic Growth.

Photo Caption: Bruno Lanvin, Executive Director for Global Indices at INSEAD, founder and co-editor of the Global Talent Competitiveness

About the MENA Talent Competitiveness Index
INSEAD has partnered with PwC and the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to leverage the GTCI and its underpinning methodology to produce this Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Talent Competitiveness Index (MTCI). This report builds on the findings of the GTCI data for nine Arabic-speaking countries in the MENA region: the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Lebanon, Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco. The report examines the findings of the GTCI for the MENA region, and seeks to aid regional policy makers, educational institutions, and other interested parties to identify policies and actions to support talent development and growth.

Copies of the report can be found here:

About INSEAD, The Business School for the World
As one of the world’s leading and largest graduate business schools, INSEAD brings together people, cultures and ideas to change lives and to transform organisations. A global perspective and cultural diversity are reflected in all aspects of our research and teaching.

With campuses in Europe (France), Asia (Singapore) and Abu Dhabi, INSEAD’s business education and research spans three continents. Our 150 renowned Faculty members from 34 countries inspire more than 1,300 degree participants annually in our MBA, Executive MBA, specialised master’s degrees (Master in Finance, Executive Master in Consulting and Coaching for Change) and PhD programmes. In addition, more than 11,000 executives participate in INSEAD’s executive education programmes each year.

In addition to INSEAD’s programmes on our three campuses, INSEAD participates in academic partnerships with the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia & San Francisco); the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University near Chicago; the Johns Hopkins University/SAIS in Washington DC; the Teachers College at Columbia University in New York; and MIT Sloan School of Management in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

In Asia, INSEAD partners with School of Economics and Management at Tsinghua University in Beijing and China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) in Shanghai. 

INSEAD is a founding member in the multidisciplinary Sorbonne University created in 2012, and also partners with Fundação Dom Cabral in Brazil.

INSEAD became a pioneer of international business education with the graduation of the first MBA class on the Fontainebleau campus in Europe in 1960. In 2000, INSEAD opened its Asia campus in Singapore. And in 2007 the school began an association in the Middle East, officially opening the Abu Dhabi campus in 2010.

Around the world and over the decades, INSEAD continues to conduct cutting edge research and to innovate across all our programmes to provide business leaders with the knowledge and sensitivity to operate anywhere. These core values have enabled us to become truly "The Business School for the World."

 More information about INSEAD can be found at

About PwC
PwC helps organisations and individuals create the value they’re looking for. We’re a network of firms in 157 countries with more than 195,000 people who are committed to delivering quality in assurance, tax and advisory services. Find out more and tell us what matters to you by visiting us at
Established in the Middle East for 40 years, PwC has firms in Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Oman, the Palestinian territories, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, with around 3000 people.




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