This week’s international HR headlines: Women drivers in Saudi Arabia, boom in co-working spaces in Hong Kong and GCC demand for digital skills

6 Oct 2017 By PM Editorial

The top stories from People Management’s international websites

1. Driving decree to boost employment opportunities for Saudi women

The news that women in Saudi Arabia will be able to drive from June next year has been broadly welcomed by both campaigners and political leaders. It has also been estimated that the move could add $90bn to the country’s economy by 2030, as women have more opportunities to work. Ride-hailing app Careem is hoping to capitalise on the decision by recruiting female drivers when the ban is lifted, it has been reported.

2. Co-working spaces gaining popularity in Hong Kong

The total footprint of co-working spaces in Hong Kong is to increase by 70 per cent this year – reaching 1.18 million square feet by the end of December – if predictions by retail estate services firm CBRE are correct. Their popularity is growing among workers who do not need an office on a full-time basis, such as hedge fund managers, entrepreneurs and creative professionals, according to David DeGeest, assistant professor of management and marketing at Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

3. Digital skills in short supply in the GCC

Developing GCC countries’ digital skills and capabilities could lead to 1.3 million digital jobs being created by 2025, according to new research by LinkedIn and Strategy&. The report – Empowering the GCC digital workforce: Building adaptable skills in the digital era – found that the proportion of digital jobs as a percentage of the total workforce was 1.7 per cent in the GCC, compared to 5.4 per cent in the EU. Improved academic preparation was one of the solutions put forward.

4. Training needs transforming to equip Cambodian workforce for Industry 4.0

Workers in Cambodia need to be trained in a broader set of skills if the economy is to successfully transition into the coming industrial revolution – ‘Industry 4.0’. And it’s not just professional skills or even IT knowledge that will be required – ‘softer’ skills, such as critical thinking and an ability to speak another language, will be vital too. The government is being urged to consider a radical overhaul of the national curriculum to get ahead of the game.

5. UAE government to focus on matching education with organisational needs

A Private Sector Council has been established to try to match the UAE’s higher education strategy for nationals with the needs of private sector companies. It was launched last week as part of the Ministry for Education’s new National Strategy for Higher Education 2030. The four main pillars of the strategy are quality, efficiency, innovation and harmonisation.

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