Construction

Gulf’s strong public sector ‘a challenge when recruiting’ in construction

Head of Pace Engineering calls on industry to encourage more young graduates into private sector

PHOTO: Tarek Shuaib, the head of Pace Engineering, said the construction industry must find ways to encourage more candidates to enter the private sector. Credit: Supplied

The strong public sector in the Gulf is making it difficult for private firms to attract the top talent in the market, a leading figure in Kuwait’s construction industry has said.

Tarek Shuaib, the head of Pace Engineering, said the construction industry must find ways to encourage more candidates to enter the private sector.

Young construction professionals in the GCC are currently drawn to the public sector because of the size and strength of the region’s government departments, he said. This causes significant challenges to private firms who wish to tap into the GCC’s pool of young, local talent.

“For me, the government sector is far too big. There may be more learning opportunities in the private sector for some of these young graduates,” Shuaib told MEConstructionNews.com.

“It’s important for Pace to have access to these young professionals, in order to be part of their growth and expose them to large-scale projects – especially those that tackle key industries that effect the future growth of Kuwait.”

Shuaib pointed out that it was vital for companies like Pace to tap into this talent resource pool, as it would have a trickledown effect across the construction industry.

“In order for us to grow (as an industry), we need to foster a creative mind-set,” he said. “Some of our employees can go on to become our clients, or they become sub-consultants for some other jobs. We feel that we recruit and harness talent, and on this journey, we have also managed to associate ourselves with a number of international firms.

“We have invited them to deliver speeches and presentations to the future architectural talent of Kuwait. We believe that you have to foster these relationships continuously,” he asserted.

Shuaib said that he believed that if the local construction industry was to flourish, it needed to offer encouragement to local contractors to improve.

“In order for that to happen, I believe that we have to open up the market to international contractors and encourage them to come here so that our own standards improve,” he said.

“One step towards that could be perhaps taking steps towards improving the tendering laws and making the conditions of the contract for international contractors more appealing, which some governmental bodies are already doing.”

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