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New research highlights potential risk to Middle East status as an international employment hub

“There’s been a lot of talk about the shortage of skills in the region and how this will impact on the delivery of the 2030 visions,” says the managing director of Veredus’ operations in the Middle East, Damian Brown, “but the main problem is an obvious – yet largely overlooked one – a simple lack of people.”

Veredus’ analysis suggests that there is currently a substantial shortfall in the number of professionals needed to make even the most immediate projects happen. “In one major example we are working on in Qatar there is such a shortage of specialists that, even if we could relocate every relevant individual from a country like the UK, it still wouldn’t solve the problem,” says Brown. “There is a lot of excellent work being done to up-skill local populations, but our analysis is that there are just not enough nationals to service projects in all sectors, which means that expatriates will continue to make up a significant proportion of the professional  workforce. However, at executive level this will increasingly mean sourcing a very particular type of individual, one with the capabilities and commitment to create a & lsquo;legacy’ workforce by guiding and mentoring locals.”

According to Veredus the general shortage of both local and expatriate professionals will add fuel to the fire of the on-going employment boom in the region. However, this in turn will create its own challenges: “It almost goes without saying that bringing more people in from overseas will create increasing demands on infrastructure, which will mean more development and higher demand for staff, “ says Brown. “It’s potentially a very exciting prospect for countries in the region, but one that needs to be managed with great care.”



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