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1.7 percent increase in GCC unemployment rate expected this year

Government-led entrepreneurship and career-development programs vital to offset increasing unemployment rate in GCC

1.7 percent increase in GCC unemployment rate expected this year

Government led initiatives are the key to encourage entrepreneurship and provide small-scale investment opportunities for unemployed citizens and fresh graduates as part of efforts to fight unemployment, according to a report by TalentRepublic.net, a regional recruitment company. TalentRepublic.net further noted that support from GCC governments is crucial in helping graduates and the unemployed acquire appropriate skills to better adapt to the new requirements of the regional job market.

Quoting the latest findings of the GCC Unemployment: Sustainable Economies report, TalentRepublic.net has revealed that the unemployment rate in the GCC has reached 8.8 per cent in 2009 and is poised to increase to 10.5 per cent in 2010. With the growing demand for more employment opportunities, TalentRepublic.net has emphasized the important role that GCC governments could play by intervening and mobilising new programs that help citizens become more proactive and self-sufficient.

TalentRepublic.nets report pointed out that among the most effective campaigns that can be initiated by GCC governments are collaborative efforts with private educational institutions to create specialised training programs for unemployed citizens and fresh graduates, which will equip them with essential skills and techniques to become self-employed.

The report also urged the establishment of more comprehensive microfinance initiatives to support small-scale projects or other business ventures. Such initiatives can come in the form of loans, which benefit from subsidies generated by interest rate administered by the government. The loans can be granted to people willing to start new business ventures that remain relatively untapped, which include traditional crafts, agriculture, farming and natural resources.

The report also highlighted the concept of "micropreneurs," which is based on low-risk, high-payoff, low start up-cost businesses. Several self-employment opportunities were identified as possible prospects for micropreneurs, ranging from clothing to computers to consumer electronics, cosmetics, fashion and even consultancies for college-bound students and their families.

The report also stressed on the importance to launch government-sponsored information campaigns to raise awareness about job categories that are in great demand. For instance, jobs related to project management, financial analysis, accounting and business analysis have emerged as the most widely available nowadays, while the least competitive jobs are in sales and marketing.

Job opportunities are also improving in key growth sectors such as solar energy, education and healthcare, the report added. For those inclined to pursue their own businesses, TalentRepublics report suggested to keep track of industry trends to identify new investment prospects. The automobile and banking sectors, for instance, are expected to navigate through difficult times however, with several consumers holding on to their old cars longer rather than buying new models, auto parts dealers and car repair companies are likely to benefit and gain more business opportunities.

However, the report weighed the pros and cons of increasing productivity in the workplace and how this trend has affected the job market. TalentRepublic.net pointed out that while new technologies, improved management methods and production techniques have enabled businesses to increase productivity with fewer workers, it has also created a short-term negative impact on the job market. The ongoing trend will ultimately benefit the economy in the long run as new industries emerge, creating a whole new set of employment opportunities.
The growing focus on productivity will increase the need for companies that offer products or services that streamline operations, save time or optimise energy use. TalentRepublic.net has pointed out that several companies have now emerged to help other businesses operate more efficiently, including a wide range of outsourcing firms.

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