Information Technology and the Middle East

As a European recruitment agency we tend to see skills shortages from a global perspective.

IT Specialists

In many ways information technology is the most deep set skill shortage area and demand is not going to go away.

The Middle East is no different. The existing skills shortage is put at 14,500 and whilst vigorous attempts are being made to train young Arabs, it will still require expertise to be imported to facilitate training and work on existing projects.

Finding adequately trained professionals has proved challenging for both corporate giants and new start-ups, leading some companies to heavily invest in technical training schemes to create and grow their own talent pools, but they need to guard against this talent being poached from within the Middle East or outside.

Microsoft plans to use part of a US$500 million investment to target about 36 million young people in the Middle East and Africa over the next three years. The software provider has partnered with Silatech, a non-profit organisation based in Doha, to create MasrWorks, an employment site that offers technical training, mentorship opportunities, internships and jobs. It now operates in Egypt and is set to expand to other countries in the region.

Cisco is expanding a programme called Maantech to further boost the recruitment of Arab students and graduates within Israel’s high-tech industry. This initiative launched last year to decrease economic disparity between Arabs and Jews there, and Intel, IBM, Hewlett-Packard and others have hired more Arabs for their workforces through it.

SAP, another software provider, is investing part of its $450m plan for the Middle East and North Africa over the next four years to recruit an additional 500 employees. It is also opening a technical training and development institute in Dubai to certify 2,000 consultants for the region. SAP appears to hold a very strong technical position in Saudi Arabia but Saudi Arabia is having to look outside its own borders for talent and is recruiting vigorously not only in Europe but around the world.

We are interested in linking with Information Technology professionals interested in working internationally. Most of our current positions are in Europe, the Middle East and Australia but IT specialists are getting to be the Doctors of today, where demand is so great you can pick your own location, if you can deliver technically.

It is a job seekers market and costs are rising and Employers need to ensure that packages offered are internationally competitive. Candidates need to carefully do their research and fully understand any offers made, especially moving into new geographical areas with different visa processes.


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