How to help our Youth beat the odds – New McKinsey report highlights 7 game-changers to create a bright future for the next generation

PR/TD WEB DESK

Dubai, United Arab Emirates: A new report from McKinsey & Company – A global management consulting firm, offers a perspective on the biggest game-changers that would help unlock opportunities for youth across the region over the coming two decades.

Titled Opportunity Youth: Imagining a bright future for the next generation, the new report starts by recognizing some of the systemic challenges in the Middle East, North Africa, and Pakistan (MENAP) region, such as unemployment and gender disparity in the workplace. However, it quickly pivots to focus on the specific game-changing opportunities and ideas that give root to a more optimistic perspective of potential outcomes for youth.

The 7 high-level game-changers highlighted in the report are:

Globally competitive talent: Increasing access to early childhood education enrollment and reskilling and upskilling existing workers

Homegrown global firms: Increasing openness and trade through collectively reducing trade barriers, reconsidering barriers on existing inter-regional capital movement, as well as removing movement restrictions for highly skilled workers to provide a talent pool for home-grown superstar companies

Innovation industries: Embracing the rise of automation and digitization, enabling R&D ecosystems, and facilitating the best environment for entrepreneurship

Gender parity in the workforce: Getting large institutions to commit to gender parity and flexible work to shape supportive environments for women

Healthy populations and resilient health systems: Adopting a “Health in all Policies” approach, pushing the adoption of virtual and digital health to boost efficiency, and inducting more than 8 million healthcare service professionals over the next 20 years

Rebuilt conflict zones: Establishing a joint recovery fund and mechanisms to help overcome the impacts of conflict as seen in other recovery countries

Governments focused on performance and delivery: Encouraging governments to produce annual report cards to boost effectiveness and accountability

The report dives deeper into each of these themes, highlighting specific ideas and mechanisms for implementation.

Gassan Al-Kibsi, McKinsey Middle East Managing Partner, said: “Everyone quickly points out the challenges youth face in our region. While these challenges are real, what is most concerning is the defeatist tone underpinning these conversations – one that essentially says, “there’s no point in even trying”. We too, see the challenges, but we also believe that there are incredible opportunities. The youth here are as talented as youth anywhere. We believe in them. We believe in their potential. And we are committed to helping enable a bright future – and hopefully in the process creating more optimism about what lies ahead.”

Khalid Aljihrish, co-author of the report, said:

“When I was younger, opportunities for youth at a better economic future in the region were few and far in between, especially for youth who grew up in lower income parts of the region. I was one of the lucky ones who had one of those few tickets to a brighter future. Even though many countries in the region, both through private and public initiatives, are undergoing impressive transformations today to broaden economic opportunities available to their youth, there is still much to be done. We hope that the ideas we share in this report help broaden the positive impact of ongoing initiatives and help make the ticket to a brighter future I had when I was younger available to a much larger subset of youth in the future.”