Beyond the opportunity to deploy renewable energy as a means to meet future energy demand and climate change obligations, governments in countries belonging to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) increasingly see the clean energy transition as a way to diversify their economies and increase employment. While multiple studies provide positive estimates regarding job creation in the renewable energy sector, few have accounted for labor market particularities or the social context of the GCC region. Given the evolution and nature of the GCC labor markets, the implications of these constraints are important as they could represent a missed opportunity for new employment in an emerging sector for a young and rising population.
After briefly assessing projected employment opportunities associated with renewables deployment, this chapter explores some of the supply-side constraints in GCC labor markets and highlights areas in which targeted policy action by governments could help alleviate the anticipated skills gap. In particular, policy action is needed to address asymmetrical labor market information, sectoral and occupational biases, and corresponding needs in education and training.