Preparing workforce ready for future challenges focus of Qatar’s National Development Strategy: Labour minister

Minister of Labour HE Dr Ali bin Samikh Al Marri has said that preparing a workforce ready for future challenges is a key focus of Qatar’s National Development Strategy, stressing that the strategy aims for a transformative shift towards a more productive labour market that prioritises highly skilled jobs.

The minister made the remarks during the 7th Abu Dhabi Dialogue (ADD) Ministerial Consultation between Asian labour-sending and receiving countries in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), with the participation of a number of Gulf and Asian countries and international organisations.

Dr Marri explained that the Ministry of Labour is collaborating with both local and international partners to modernise the labour market’s regulatory framework and enhance information systems by leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) to back policies grounded in solid evidence related to the labour market with an objective to boost productivity and aid in the development of a competitive, diversified and sustainable economy.

The significant shifts the world is experiencing due to climate change and technological advancements, impacting the labour markets in both countries that send and receive workers. This will alter the demand for certain jobs, leading to the change and disappearance of some roles, he said.

He elaborated that the swift advancement in AI technology presents numerous challenges for the future work environment. However, it also creates new prospects for both workers and organisations, adding that this necessitates acquiring new skills, with an emphasis on apprenticeship and ongoing learning.

The minister pointed out that the meeting is an opportunity to exchange new ideas and experiences and dialogue on best practices in order to face these challenges and keep pace with recent developments and transformations towards a more environmentally friendly and knowledge-based economy by providing the workforce with the necessary skills and competencies in the future, providing social protection for workers and facilitating their transition to new jobs.

He stressed the need to support social dialogue and enable employers to assess their needs for the required skills and competencies in line with the expected developments of the labour market. Sixteen countries are participating in this year’s ministerial consultative meeting, including labour-receiving countries: Qatar, the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, and the Asian labour-sending countries: Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.