On August 27th and 28th in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the Ministry of Labor (MoL), Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) and EPoD co-hosted a symposium on Evidence Based Policy Design for the Saudi Labor Market in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The event included 17 international researchers from leading universities who joined over 100 Saudi policy decision-makers, practitioners, and program implementers in Riyadh to discuss salient labor market issues.
Utilizing principles of Smart Policy Design the two-day symposium featured presentations by the research leads on economic insights regarding specific policy topics, as well as interactive breakout sessions aimed at catalyzing future policymaker-researcher engagements. These sessions ran in parallel and focused on the following topics:
- Human Capital Development and Job Creation
- Employability and Unemployment
- Quotas and other means to get more Saudis in the workforce
- Women in the Labor Market
- Youth Employment
- Matching Employee Skills to the Demands of the Labor Markets
To help enable informed and productive dialogue, each group included leading international and local researchers, policy decision-makers, key practitioners, and program implementers. Groups were tasked with developing concrete policy-research ideas and defining next steps that could ultimately result in proposals supported under a future policy research funding mechanism.
The symposium concluded with presentations to a wider high-level audience, including His Excellency the Minister of Labor, on the outcomes of each breakout session group. These presentations showcased the exciting and novel policy-research ideas.
Ultimately the event sparked a conceptual, empirically sound and practical discussion about critical labor issues. These discussions will inform the design of high-potential, testable and feasible policy solutions to improve labor market outcomes in Saudi Arabia.