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Morgan McKinley on the machinery employment market

Niall Hughes, senior consultant for construction at recruitment firm Morgan McKinley, provides a summary of the employment market for the GCC's construction machinery sector

Niall Hughes, senior consultant for construction, Morgan McKinley.
Niall Hughes, senior consultant for construction, Morgan McKinley.

Caterpillar, the number one name in the heavy equipment market, recently announced another round of job cuts that could exceed 10,000 people by the end of 2018.

This news, combined with falling house prices in Dubai and a general dampening of the sentiment in the GCC construction market, has left many questioning what the outlook for heavy equipment suppliers and distributors in the Gulf region looks like.

The Morgan McKinley Construction team recruits for many clients within the heavy equipment space.

From speaking to companies in this area, along with analysing the job openings coming from companies within this industry, the outlook whilst challenging in some areas, looks positive overall.

There has been some slowdown in new projects starting in construction over the past six to 12 months; however the likes of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the UAE have committed to large infrastructure projects with the likes of the Expo 2020 and Qatar 2022 World Cup, ensuring that these projects will go ahead on schedule.

One noticeable trend is that there is a growing preference for renting rather than purchasing construction equipment.

The relatively easy availability of construction equipment on rent has made it a more viable option for contractors and developers.

High cost and high-income generating equipment such as cranes, excavators, and wheel loaders are some of the more popular pieces of equipment in the rental market currently.

Whilst many of the major players in the heavy equipment market will continue to hold a prominent market share, there are opportunities for some of the smaller rental companies to grow their markets.
 

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Construction Week - Issue 741
May 11, 2019