Middle East future-scape – Immediate Success (Part 2 – Cannibalized Influx)

Overview

My earlier entry started off with 4 things that I had talked about: Inflation, Influx of contractors, Quality of services, and Regional Tourism. As I mentioned that I would expand on one of them for another entry, this post is dedicated to the influx part from the previous one.

Immediate Success – Part 2 (Influx)

When I mentioned that contractors would be waiting to bid for the numerous tenders that would be released, I didn’t even touch upon the influx of other things that Qatar would have to sustain – visitors and job opportunities. As the country recently announced a total of 200 projects encompassing the range from education to residential and healthcare, it’s evident that the country may lack the workforce and the people to perform the job.

The main part of this topic that may have been overlooked is the increase in job opportunities in the country. Over the past years, Qatarization has aken higher precedence, with the government clamping on private companies who have failed to meet their quota. As long as they are employing Qataris, that’s what matters to the ministries – otherwise, it’s a QR 100,000 ($27,398) instant penalty. Now, this is a point of contention as the country also has another breakthrough project that seeks to develop the human capital of Qataris and non-Qataris – Education City.

Qatar Foundation‘s flagship project have already graduated numerous alumni from the different branch campuses, but some have still faced hardships of securing employment in the country. Most of the non-Qataris have taken out interest-free loans from Qatar Foundation to pursue their education goals. By working in the country in one of the approved places, their debt is written off every year. This is part of the Foundation’s goals to retain that pool of talent that can greatly contribute to the country. The last thing to happen is for it to leak out for someone else to benefit. If there are no job opportunities for these graduates to apply, they might as well pack up and leave.

Preparing for the World Cup is not only an honor, but also a challenge. You may not find the proper qualified people to perform the duties. They may not even know how to deal with an influx of tourists who would come from different parts of the globe. Language poses a barrier right there. From my experience, much of what happens here is attributed to Arabic. Unless you know the language, then nothing gets done. Some of them haven’t even seen the outside world and know what is good to do. Qatar still doesn’t have a vibrant youth culture and society like Dubai, but that is changing. However, the generation of our parents still hold to their positions and would be reluctant to change.

This is where Education City can fill this void. As the graduates are well prepared to meet the challenges of the corporate and professional, they have been groomed and prepared over 4 years. This is the opportunity that they deserve to not only give back to the country, but also put the Foundation’s human capital investments into action. There is no other opportunity than now for companies across Qatar to recruit the finest minds from Education City. This not only gives them immediate access to the talent that companies would be scouting for, but also saves them the hassle of any financial or immigration-related troubles that would arise.

Being a fresh graduate, many of the job postings I have seen necessitated having atleast 3 years of work experience. In addition, as part of the Qatarization strategy, some companies have kept fresh graduate positions for them. Unless something can be done to address this, the efforts put in by Qatar Foundation will only create a massive brain-drain that countries like India and China have experienced. It will be to the benefit of other organizations outside Qatar to tap the talent pool of Education City, as they reap the benefits of American educated youth but lower recruitment costs due to smaller geographical differences.

Tune in to my next post, as I delve deeper into the wider benefits for the Middle East.

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