From Pakistan to the Gulf region: An analysis of links between labour markets, skills and the migration cycle

This report examines the linkages between labour demand, skills and the recruitment process with a focus on low-skilled migration from Pakistan to the Gulf Cooperation Council.

Despite the substantial benefits generated by the migration flow between Pakistan-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) migration flow, many challenges remain to ensure a fairer distribution of the profits. Much has been written on the abuses of migrant workers throughout the migration cycle, but less is known about labour demand, its relationship to skills and the impact of the recruitment process on these aspects.

Lack of information regarding qualifications, skills, wages and how demand will evolve inhibits informed decision-making by public and private institutions as well as by migrant workers. This results in lost opportunities or mistakes with training investment in both source and recipient countries. Additionally, there is no system of mutual recognition of educational attainment and acquired skills based on comparable standards for low-skilled or semi-skilled occupations.

This report addresses some of these issues, with a special focus on the role of skills in Pakistan, including skills training, certification, skills matching and recruitment practices.

The report is a complement to Labour Market Trends Analysis and Labour Migration from South Asia to Gulf Cooperation Council Countries, Malaysia and India published in June 2015 by the GIZ and the ILO.