Labor force contribution of the Arab community in the UK market

Posted: July 27, 2021

According to data from the Open University, 91% of business organisations in the UK struggled to find workers with the right skills in 2018 due to skills shortages. Organisations are paying a high price to ensure the skills in question, estimated at £6.33bn in 2018. For that reason, competition is going fierce among organisations to acquire the necessary skills.

Thus, there is a growing need for Arab qualifications and skills to reduce the skills shortage in UK organisations. The UK economy will be even more vulnerable if Arab discrimination continues in the workplace. It is worth knowing that the cost of training British workers can be higher than recruiting Arab skills.

It is therefore crucial that organisations develop their ability to attract Arabs in Britain. This can be achieved by using online platforms, establishing a culture that supports Arabs’ involvement in the labor market, and following proven advice and guidance.


UK job opportunities are growing again.

According to the Office for National Statistics, the number of UK-born employees was on the rise before the corona pandemic. After 24,323,000 in March 1997, it increased to 27,171,000 in December 2019. The number of UK employees outside the EU increased to 3,373,314 in December 2019, as shown in the table below.



The importance of Arabs in reducing the skills shortage in Britain:

Organisations need to deal more with people of different nationalities and integrate them into the British work environment, especially those who have demonstrated the required skills.

Arabs are competent and skillful, and they have what it takes to change and enhance in Britain. Therefore, recruiting and developing the qualificaions of Arabs and encouraging them to contribute to the British community can be regarded as investment. For example, the Arabian Business London Awards highlights some of the Arab’s business achievements in Britain and can act as a catalyst that would encourage Arabs to engage more in the British community.

Although the Arab engagement has had an impact on the labor market in reducing the skills shortage in the UK, racial discrimination against Arabs in the employment process somewhat weakens this engagement.

Is there job discrimination between Britons and Arabs?

According to the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), Arabs suffer racial discrimination from their employers. In other words, even if Arabs were born and educated in the UK, their opportunities are far less than their peers of Britain’s citizens.

The BBC confirmed this when they found that someone with an Arab-sounding name on their CV is three times less likely to get an interview. They conducted an experiment of sending CVs from two candidates, “John” and “Mohamed,” who had identical skills and experience. The result was that the English-sounding name was offered three times the number of interviews than an applicant with an Arabic name.

Jobs in Britain require Arabs

Although the Arabs are considered a minority in Britain, there are several jobs in Britain that give them an advantage. Because of their mother tongue, they are more likely to get a job without racial discrimination. Moreover, “The people of Mecca know best its paths”; meaning, it takes on to know one. Among these jobs are teaching Arabic, customer service-to communicate with Arab customers worldwide- and Sales Research, as globalization provides the opportunity to take advantage of the sizeable Arab market. The Arab world in 2021 contains about 444.81 million, according to DEMOGRAPHY. Dealing with refugees, non-profit organisations are more interested in recruiting Arabic-speaking candidates.

The evolution of Arab recruitment tools in the British labor market

The labor market today in Britain has become more transparent and accessible. With the increase of online employment platforms in Britain, it has become easier to get information about job opportunities. Arabs could use these platforms to get acquainted with the organisations they apply to.

According to Glassdoor, “93% of job seekers say it is important to be thoughtful and informed about all aspects of a company (e.g. culture, values, mission, business model, future plans, pros and cons about the workplace) prior to accepting a job offer.”

On the other hand, some organisations have the tools that can know Arabs and communicate more with them. For example, Arabisk London offers articles about Arabs in Britain, with the aim of building cultural bridges. The site also provides opportunities to meet Arabs and market their business since they represent a large part of its visitors.

We are now more likely to target the right job openings to the right target audience. For instance, in certain jobs, an Arab can take advantage of their Arab nature. Therefore, the organisation can announce the vacancy, targeting Arabs only at websites that care for them, like Arabisk Media through the recruitment and Talent acquisition service.

Its expertise focuses on sourcing and developing the most desirable Arabic-speaking candidates that understand the market and are consumer-minded, which leads to better business results.

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