INVESTIGATING THE SKILLS-GAP IN THE KUWAITI LABOUR MARKET: PERSPECTIVES FROM POLICY MAKERS, EMPLOYERS, GRADUATES, AND HIGHER EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS
Author(s)Albadir, Anfal F A y r
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AbstractABSTRACTInvestigating the Skills-Gap in the Kuwaiti Labour Market: Perspectives from Policy Makers, Employers, Graduates, and Higher Educational InstitutionsImmediately after the discovery of oil, the State of Kuwait put in place a plan for massive economic and social development for its people. This proposed plan required sophisticated labour skills to implement development requirements. However, over the years the country has continued to witness a labour market imbalance due to an inadequate supply of graduate skills that did not satisfy the demand from its workplace. The purpose of this study was to investigate the mismatch between outputs from higher education and labour market requirements.The present study employed a mixed approach to address its main research questions. It applied a quantitative approach using questionnaires prepared for graduates currently working and employers from both the public and private sector. It also utilized a qualitative approach using interviews with stakeholders in the labour market such as higher education personnel and policy makers. The literature review provided an overview of educational objectives and their relation to economic, social, and human resource development. It also looked at the nature of the relationship between higher educational institutions and the labour market, as well as providing some examples of the labour market gap around the world.The key findings indicated that higher educational institutions faced problems with regard to their role in the provision of knowledge and skills. The study found that employers believe that the quality of education provided by the institutions is low. Similarly, the study found that employers believe that the communication amongst stakeholders in the education system is not effective. In addition, employers reckoned that the main factors influencing graduates’ quality of education were the lack of skills, lack of motivation and weak communication.Similarly, graduates believed that the main factors influencing their quality of education were lack of skills, as well as overestimating job privileges and area of study. Furthermore, graduates satisfaction with their current jobs was influenced by many factors; such as low-quality education, disappointment with career development, source of skills, area of study, and gender. In fact, the literature identified the low quality of education as the main cause of the skills-gap worldwide, while it had always valued communication for closing the skills-gap.This study has confirmed that there is an imbalance within the Kuwaiti labour market. The theoretical and practical implications of the findings are discussed in the concluding chapter of the thesis.
TypeDoctoral level ETD - final