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United Arab Emirates : UAE's transport and logistics sector growth challenged by skillset gap.

The findings of the Transport and Logistics segments of a recent Workforce Planning Study, commissioned by Dubai International Academic City (DIAC) and conducted by Deloitte, revealed that the anticipated increase in manpower demand within the transport and logistics industry faces some key challenges, primarily a shortage of critical skillsets. The study surveyed over 2,400 students across 17 markets in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, alongside a cross-section of companies.

The transport and logistics sectors continue to aid Dubai s economic diversification strategy and this contribution is set to rise significantly due to a vast number of major projects in the pipeline for the coming years as Dubai prepares to cater for the Expo 2020. A new US$ 25bn rail network project will link all the emirates in the UAE, and a new US$ 571.6m, 62km Abu Dhabi-Dubai highway is being built to extend the Mohammed bin Zayed road as well as Dubai Tram on Al Sofouh road. Dubai has also recently revealed plans for a US$ 544m downtown canal project that will span more than 80,000 sq mtrs and encompass new shopping and entertainment centres, more than 450 new restaurants, several bridges and 4 new hotels. Further, construction at the Jabel Ali port is now underway which will make it the only port in the region capable of handling 10 of the new-generation giant container ships at the same time. Each of these mega-projects require a significant workforce of highly skilled individuals and therefore, Dubai must train, attract and develop the workforce required to deliver these plans.

The Workforce Planning study results show that at least 26 per cent of respondents consider Dubai as an excellent education destination and 60 per cent rated Dubai as either good or excellent in provision of transport and logistics training and qualifications. The most demanded skills for this sector included; Customer service as cited by 84 per cent of respondents, with integrated logistics and supply chain management services were requested by 79 per cent of those surveyed, both indicating a skills gap within the sector. Multi-modal transport and inventory management were also demanded by over 50 per cent of respondents. 47 per cent indicated that customer service skills are the most lacking amongst entry-level employees within the transport and logistics sector, while 42 per cent reported supply chain management was the most lacking skill for entry level candidates.

DIAC s Workforce Planning Study is a useful tool in enabling us to better support Dubai s substantial industry growth. The survey findings enable us to directly inform the market about skills gaps and trends in the growing transport and logistics industry, allowing it to confidently prepare for the future.

2014 Al Bawaba ( Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. ( ).

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Publication:Mena Report
Date:Dec 19, 2014
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