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Can Saudi attract the construction talent its megaprojects need?

Saudi Arabia remains a lucrative proposition as a place for foreign talent to live and work, but can it attract the right people to build its future infrastructure?

Saudi Arabia is becoming a more attractive proposition as a place for foreign talent to live and work.
Saudi Arabia is becoming a more attractive proposition as a place for foreign talent to live and work.
Marcus Taylor, managing partner at Taylor Sterling Associates
Marcus Taylor, managing partner at Taylor Sterling Associates

Like many regional organisations, Taylor Sterling is taking strides towards broadening its horizons and expanding into the Saudi Arabian market.

In the last few months, the kingdom has witnessed a rapid increase in employment opportunities across a number of different sectors. It is clear that Saudi Arabia’s economy is on the up due to the major changes under way in the kingdom, which are generating interest in the country.

READ: Saudi Arabia's top 10 projects under construction in 2018

Saudi Arabia is becoming a more attractive proposition as a place for foreign talent to live and work, and this is supported by the generous remuneration packages the country’s employers typically offer.

It is no surprise that businesses in the region are turning their resources towards Saudi Arabia, with most organisations implementing plans to expand and tap into the kingdom’s market, which is still largely unsaturated. This is also creating great potential for employment in the coming years.

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is making extremely positive changes that will play a huge role in the economic growth of the country. In 2018 alone, the projects announced during the first quarter rose 10-fold compared to Q1 2017. This means countless new job opportunities will arise for skilled foreign talent, with the developments acting as a powerful incubator for regional companies looking to expand into Saudi Arabia.

The country is seeking to revive its economy after low oil prices curtailed job creation and growth some years ago. But will Saudi Arabia be able to source and attract the talent required to work on and deliver its megaprojects? The kingdom’s decreased dependence on oil should help secure its growth in the long term.

However, in the short term, the kingdom’s employers must efficiently manage talent shortages and the multitude of job openings that are difficult to fill. Moreover, once Saudi Arabia has attracted the required manpower, it must deliver amenities such as healthcare, education, and housing, to serve the increased population. This is also needed to uphold the standard of employee engagement for which the Gulf is known.

Saudi Arabia is streamlining efforts to diversify its investments, and it is likely that the recent increase in oil prices, combined with the Crown Prince’s efforts, will positively affect and support the kingdom’s business initiatives in the years to come.

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Construction Week - Issue 749
Sep 15, 2019