Podcast: Dubai's ALEC outlines plans for future-ready workforce

EXCLUSIVE: MD for related businesses and innovation manager at ALEC talk to CW about the future of construction careers

ALEC is among the UAE's top contractors.
ALEC is among the UAE's top contractors.

As one of the UAE’s largest contracting firms, ALEC is one that is eyeing – and taking advantage of – innovation-led building technology and processes emerging in the Middle East’s building sector.

In this episode of the Construction Week Viewpoint podcast, special guests Hercu Viljoen, managing director for related businesses at ALEC, and Imad Itani, ALEC’s innovation manager, sit down with host Jack Ball, senior reporter at Construction Week to outline the company's innovation strategy.

Together, Viljoen and Itani shed light on why ALEC is doubling down on advanced construction technologies and novel building methods when approaching its projects.

“Innovation is a survival thing – if we don’t innovate or adjust what we do today, we will be extinct tomorrow," said Viljoen, noting that the contractor would look to hire employees in the future that can dabble in a variety of skills.

“You need a civil engineer with data analytics skills, for example,” Viljoen explained.

"There might be robots doing the work and you have to analyse how to do it better. That’s where we are going, and that’s very exciting. The industry is going to be transformed in the next five years.”

Other topics discussed during the episode include the construction industry’s approach to next-gen technologies, and why having a workforce of multi-taskers is key for the firm moving ahead.

Construction Week Viewpoint is a weekly podcast series produced by the CW editorial team and published on SoundCloud and iTunes at 12:00 (GST) every Monday.

Business leaders are regular podcast special guests. The weekly bulletin has welcomed the likes of Harj Dhaliwal, managing director for the Middle East and India at Los Angeles-based Virgin Hyperloop One, Rizwan Sajan, founder of Dubai-headquartered building giant Danube Group, and tech entrepreneur Karim Helal, co-founder and CEO of building portal ProTenders.

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