Rise in Blue Collar Hiring in the Middle East
Blue-collar jobs, why are they called so? On what basis are we classifying jobs? Why are talking about their rise all of a sudden?
Well, there are quite a few questions to be answered about this fascinating topic and this is what we are going to ponder over through this blog.
An introduction to blue-collar jobs
Before we move any further, it’s a prerequisite to understanding what blue collar jobs actually are. Blue collar job workers perform predominantly manual or labor jobs and work with their hands more often. Now, interestingly, as soon as we hear words like manual or labor, we start presuming that these are low-paid or unskilled jobs with only a poor section of society engaged in them.
However, this information is partly correct. Skill and knowledge level required varies from occupation to occupation. We have everyone from as skilled as electricians and aircraft mechanics to considerably lesser skilled as cleaners and carpenters.
Inevitably, everyone has not got the quality education and the demanded skills to be a professional and get employed in high-profile “white collar jobs”.
Why blue-collar jobs?
Imagine how does a young Indian think these days. Burn the midnight oil in school, give your everything in college and obtain a sustainable and reputed job for leading a good life.
However, having said that, how many people could eventually afford these cash-rich educational institutions, how many people actually have the patience and talent to fight among the best and how many people actually get a sustainable job after all those years of toil and hard work. The answer is very few.
What is the other option, Business? Do people have investments? Do they have a bright enough idea which could excite the world? They might have, who knows? But the lack of platform and support that they need always remain their undoing.
Therefore, doctors and engineers cannot be born every day and blue-collar jobs still remain quite dominant.
Dubai: A home away from home
India is known to have unbelievable talent and India is also known for a lack of opportunities to acknowledge these talents. That is where the problem of “brain-drain” comes through.
Around 5.5 Lakh people from India migrated to the middle east in search of work 2005. This stat is enough to draw our foremost conclusion. Middle-East is the happy place for workers and people in search of brighter prospects move these foreign lands.
Interestingly, out of those 5.5 lakh people, 1.94 lakh people chose Dubai. What makes Dubai such a preferred location for blue-collar jobs? Dubai, situated, strategically between the eastern and western worlds, has become an ideal hub for global businesses and hotspot for various economic and infrastructural growth.
It is known for a pretty reasonable standard of living for even wage workers and lack of stringent government and political policies. All these translate into a high demand for both skilled and unskilled labor.
The statistics show that even if you possess the most basic skill and a minimal level of education, you are highly likely to get a gainful employment opportunity. You could send adequate money home and could even think of settling there permanently. This is the major incentive people need, isn’t it?
With the cost of living being quite acceptable and a nice laid-back lifestyle, Dubai has become a home away from home for quite a few blue-collar workers
Poor working conditions for blue-collar workers
With the deplorable condition and below average standard of living for these manual workers, they have all the more reasons to migrate and live a life worth living.
On the other side of the coin, highly skilled jobs such as that of doctors and managers still have enough incentives to stay home and grow.
Even with all the labor laws and stringent government policies, the exploitation of these menial job workers has hardly reduced.
They do not know whether they will be doing the same job the next day or not, such as the insecurity prevalent. With the time, thinking of people has revolutionized, the way their dreams and ideas have reached different heights, not a lot of people in India think of doing small things.
Who would become a barber, a cobbler or a washer, not even at a slightly bigger scale unless life forces you into these things? In middle- east, however, the scope of these kinds of jobs is still very much the same and people are willing to do them as well. That is why blue collar jobs continue to grow in those areas.
Even with lesser education, success ratio is higher in middle-east
Saudi Arabia which is regarded as the most conservative Arab country has provided amazing growth opportunities to these workers. Muzammil Hussain, a successful HR manager in a famous enterprise called Riyadh has confessed that the pay scale there for skilled and semi-skilled workers is much higher than it is in India.
In Qatar, the home for successful Indian companies like Gulf Lights and Teyseer Motors has shown that these multi-skilled and talented workers are less costly to employ than they are in Western countries.
The World Economic Forum of Human Capital Index showed that the only the Middle East and North Africa captures only 62% of their total human capital index.
Youth unemployment stands at 31% in these regions. Workforce gender gaps remain wide across these countries, ranging from 40% in Kuwait to 80% in Jordan.
These stats show the presence of gender gaps and inefficient use of education investment.
Therefore, unlike India where the quality of education has almost become mandatory for gainful employment, in these middle-east countries, even with lower levels of education, lifestyles are much better and pay-scales are much higher.