UAE Focus

Dubai construction sector faces manpower shortfall

May 2014

DUBAI’S construction and real estate sectors are facing a combined manpower shortfall of up to 500,000 heading into 2015, according to new findings.

Workforce Planning Study, which was commissioned by Dubai International Academic City (DIAC) and conducted by Deloitte, revealed that building and construction project management skills are most lacking among senior levels, according to 43 per cent of companies surveyed.

Likewise, 54 per cent of companies believe that design engineering skills are lacking among mid-level professionals, followed by civil engineering skills. Among entry level employees, health and safety skills were identified as most lacking.

Real estate project financing, property pricing and appraisal, real estate evaluation, property market analysis and brokerage are also cited as key skills in demand, by the study.

The resurgent construction market has also provided a need for skilled trades such as heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC), plumbing and electrical engineering.

The Workforce Planning Study surveyed more than 2,400 students across 17 markets in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, as well as a cross section of companies.

The study aimed to help students and graduates better understand the employment prospects in the UAE market. It also sought to apprise employers about potential skills gaps, enabling them to make decisions around recruitment and training programmes.

The real estate and construction sectors contributed 21 per cent of Dubai’s growth in Q1 2014, according to the Dubai Economic Outlook report, and accounts for 7.8 per cent of the emirate’s overall gross domestic product (GDP).

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