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Exporting human capital via digital economy

Jun 02,2019 - Last updated at Jun 02,2019

The rise of the digital economy in the past decade creates a huge market for countries with significant human capital. The digital economy allows countries to benefit from trade globally, fostering growth while reducing the cost of more traditional methods of economic development. 

With the digital economy set to be worth $23 trillion in 2025, countries with a high human capital need to start considering fostering that capital in the development of their economies. 

While it is important to continue to develop free trade areas and development zones in Jordan, an area of opportunity we have is developing an umbrella that can allow us to export our human capital via the digital economy, with regulatory and governance to protect that workforce and under luring terms of agreement. 

Jordan’s most valuable resource is its human capital. Employees are searching for positions that will offer them geographic flexibility along with their traditional benefits. With the current development of the Ministry of Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship, a great step for Jordan, there needs to be a mapping of our human capital, where we have an overflow of talented individuals who are unemployed, and that needs to be matched to the needs of countries with a deficit to those skills. Companies hiring remotely and companies with demands to the skills we offer need to be contacted as well. Upon the completion of that mapping, those talents need to be gathered, tested for their skills, trained and divided into categories per industry. Then, their talents need to be exported digitally, while they are still physically in Jordan, exporting their skills, decreasing unemployment while pumping money into the economy.

Some of the human capital talents we have in Jordan whose services can be exported digitally include: developers, graphic designers, finance specialists, writers, researchers, engineers, teachers, content development specialists, trainers, translators and virtual assistants.

If exported in a proper and systematic way, this can dramatically decrease unemployment in the country.

The Internet allows talents to be outsourced to different locations, allowing businesses to benefit from different cost and productivity conditions, as well as the availability of specific skills. Digitising business functions allows to accelerate profit margins and enhance revenue growth, while targeting the most innovative talents globally.

According to a study by International Workplace Group, 70 per cent of employees globally work remotely at least once a week, and 50 per cent of employees work remotely half the week. This is one of the first studies to survey professionals in 96 different countries and across a range of industries.”

Businesses can also cut costs by reducing expenses like office space, supplies, utilities and employee accommodations.

One in about 65 Jordanians is an engineer, a percentage that cannot be hired instantly. The Jordan Engineers Association needs to partner with the newly-enacted Ministry of Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship to develop studies and have discussions with countries that can hire these engineers remotely. This method of reducing unemployment is one that should be considered and studied in more detail to align with the changes of the rise of the digital era in the 21st century.

We do not have all the answers. Updated laws should be put in place and studies undertaken, but this is a necessary step that Jordan needs to take as being a country with rich human talent to adhere to this globally changing trend of employment. Jordan can provide a highly qualified workforce, eager to participate in the global economy. A national strategy needs to be put in place to properly stage this transition.

 

The writer is founder and director of Wasel for Awareness & Education. She contributed this article to The Jordan Times

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