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How prepared is your company to handle Middle East's workforce of the future?
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How prepared is your company to handle Middle East's workforce of the future?

How prepared is your company to handle Middle East's workforce of the future?
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Technology is already changing the way we work and the work we do, and this certainly will continue. But how prepared is your company to handle the Middle East’s workforce of the future?

According to a report published by PwC titled the Workforce of the Future, respondents in the Middle East felt less prepared than the rest of the world in 70 per cent of the areas across two categories: organisational planning and how humans and AI will interact in their work.

Building on its survey and interviews of HR and business leaders across the region, the report found that, by their own admission, leaders are not doing enough to future-proof their organisations (meaning that they are not prepared for the changes that future developments in technology and the business environment will bring). The ability to future-proof is centered on three key areas: the future of work, future workers, and unleashing performance.

Although respondents in the region were broadly in line with their counterparts around the world when it comes to the importance of key capabilities, the big difference was in how ready Middle Eastern leaders were to deal with them. The lack of preparedness, PwC says, will put businesses at risk in the future when it comes to attracting, developing and retaining talent.

When asked about the impact of organisational planning, only 38 per cent of respondents admitted to planning and using predictive analysis when making future workforce plans. Most of the organisations still resort to traditional methods of talent recruitment and management.

David Suarez, People and Organisation Leader at PwC Middle East, said, “In many ways, the Middle East is broadly in line with global trends, but in terms of how ready businesses are for change, we lag behind the rest of the world, and that puts us at greater risk when thinking of future workforce and keeping up with global markets.”

According to the report, employers in the Middle East must develop their human workforce alongside their investment in technology, especially AI. By doing this, organisations will create a seamless link where technology can help augment human capabilities and reduce the risk of an over-reliance on technical expertise from other countries.

"We have a young, tech-savvy workforce, and unemployment is generally low by global standards. Organisations in the Middle East can leverage the concept of the ‘digital nomad’ and develop the right skills at home to leverage new ways of working,” Suarez said.

(Editing by Seban Scaria seban.scaria@refinitiv.com)

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