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More Workers Needed in Gulf Aviation Industry


Middle East : 02 November 2010

Experts say the shortage of qualified workers is the main difficulty in the region’s aviation sector.

There is a call out for more qualified workers to fill gaps in the aviation industry.  Deputy general manager for the Gulf Centre for Aviation Studies, Dr. Othman Al Khoury stated that passenger safety and security are the top priorities for professionals within the industry and that rigorous requirements and high standards are the norm.  Dr. Al Khoury spoke at the Doha Aviation Summit.

Despite the effects of the economic slowdown, which many economies in the Gulf felt at least minimally, the aviation industry is not compromising on crucial security and safety aspects, according to Al Khoury.

However the deputy GM also noted that the shortage of qualified staff is the main problem for the industry.

A lack of capable professionals makes the work and situation difficult for those currently employed within the sector, said Al Khoury.

He noted that training staff overseas carries a large cost for the airlines and that high awareness promotions locally have not brought in the targeted amount of staff.  There has, however, been some interest shown from GCC nationals recently.

Development of local, fully equipped training facilities would go far to reduce training expenses incurred abroad.

Forecasts state that there will be double the amount of airport workers in the Gulf region by 2020 due to airport expansion plans.  Around Dh 734.54 billion ($200 billion) of projects have been lined up for airports across the Mena region and a further $100 billion has been allocated to infrastructure and expansion developments currently in the works.

There are eight new runways being constructed in the Gulf and the fleet of regional airlines is ready to accept 2,300 additional planes into their ranks by 2029, swelling the current number of 1,100.

Population in the region sits at 39 million and is expected to grow to about 58 million.  Currently, the number of GCC nationals working within the private sector is minimal.

At 36 per cent, Oman has the largest percentage of nationals within the private sector, while Kuwait numbers sit at 16 per cent, Qatar at five per cent and the UAE at two per cent.

Director General for the QAC (Qatar Aeronautical College), Dr. Ali Ebrahim Al Maliki stated that incentives are necessary.

Al Maliki noted that a young and talented workforce will emerge if attractive wage packages and retirement benefits were offered to those willing to work in this industry, as well as more technology training centres locally.

He stated that there is a great need for a talented pool of highly trained staff and leaders for the future, as well as a requirement to draw the more talented nationals into the aviation sector.

Regional director for the International Civil Aviation Organization, Mohammad R M Khunji stated that the push to bring talented professionals into the industry is unequalled.

Paul Holdsworth, Staff Writer, Gulf Jobs Market News
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