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Iran: Only 7% of work force in industry hold university degree


The minister of industry and mines said in Tehran on Saturday that less than seven percent of manpower employed in industry hold university degrees, IRNA reported.

Es'haq Jahangiri said a study carried out in 1999 revealed that over 65 percent of nation's labor force do not have high school diplomas, 24 percent have finished high school and 11 percent hold university degrees, "with a portion of the latter group occupying administrative jobs."

He said the nation's main challenge is transforming a traditional-based economy to a vibrant industrial one "which produces goods with added-value."

"Sustained economic growth is only possible by using modern technology," he said.

A concept closely related to education is productivity which has been a source of concern for country's officials and policy makers. Jahangiri said here in September that low productivity is a major factor hindering industrial development.

Speaking at Sharif Technical University, he added that a major factor is the low level of education and skill of labor in industry. He said a major part of growth in industrial countries is related to higher labor productivity. "Unfortunately the average education of labor in Iran's industrial sector is lower than the average in the other sectors of the economy."

He said to achieve an eight percent annual growth in the economy a 20-year span is needed. "Such a growth rate needs sustained industrialization as well as 10-fold increase in the non-oil exports or at least a 10-year period." Jahangiri underlined.

"If we intend to reach such the desired outcome, our products should become more competitive in the world markets." Furthermore, re-evaluation of officials' mindset is the pre-requisite for the industrial sector to become more competitive.

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