Qatar is struggling to recruit and retain skilled experts who can help deliver on its many planned infrastructure projects over the next several years, according to a new report by international consulting and accounting firm PwC, it was reported.
In the second edition of the Building Beyond Ambition: Middle East Capital Projects & Infrastructure Survey for June 2014, PwC said the ensuing “capacity crunch,” which is also being experienced in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, would make it difficult for projects to be delivered on time unless radical changes were made to management styles.
PwC said a survey of 130 of the region’s most prominent project owners, developers, contractors advisors, and financiers found while three quarters of business leaders said they expected spending to increase in the coming year as Qatar prepared to host the 2022 World Cup and the UAE looked towards Dubai Expo in 2020, there was “acute” capacity constraints facing the region’s mega-projects, Doha News reported.
More than half (54 percent) of business owners and 43 percent of contractors said this was their top challenge for the coming year.
The report said to avoid a talent vacuum, businesses should focus on trying to retaining their experts by giving them chances to develop and progress in their roles.
Meanwhile, Saudi Shoura Council member Saad Al Bazei reportedly said skilled and unskilled expatriate workers would be needed for many years because of the major development projects underway in the kingdom.
“These massive developmental projects need manpower not available locally. So the country has to rely on foreign workers,” said Al Bazei, a former professor at King Saud University.
These foreign workers include western architects and engineers as consultants and those needed for blue-collar jobs, he said.
At present, Saudi Arabia has a population of 29.5 million, of which nine million are expatriates.
Most of the semi-skilled and unskilled workers would come from the Philippines, Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan.