Saudi construction sector needs well-trained professionals

RIYADH – The construction boom being witnessed in Saudi Arabia over the past few years necessitates the availability of highly trained construction professionals to sustain the growth in the sector, Advanced Construction Technology Services (ACTS), a consulting organization in the field of construction materials and geotechnical engineering, emphasized.

ACTS pointed out that the quality of professionals could, to a large extent, influence the sustained progress and vitality of Saudi Arabia’s construction sector, which is expected to achieve 5.4 percent growth this year, fueled by increased government spending into social and economic infrastructure.

ACTS is the local sponsoring group of the American Concrete Institute (ACI) for its certification programs in the Middle East. ACI is the world authority in concrete construction and produces the main building codes that are universally adopted in engineering design and concrete construction. It has been offering these courses since 1996, and has trained more than 5,000 personnel all over the MENA region and certified more than 2,000 in the various ACI certification programs.

“Saudi Arabia gives a lot of importance to training. In fact, training is a key strategy in the Saudization of jobs at all levels. However, what we have observed is that, in the construction sector, training is still undervalued. While some large companies in the Kingdom embrace training as a key to better workforce, most other construction companies consider training as a cost burden and a time where their people are not productive. This is a mindset that needs to gradually change, since training is vital to improving quality by creating more skillful and technically proficient construction professionals, particularly in markets like the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait and KSA,” said Dr. Maher El Barrak, head of ACTS Training & Consultancy Division.

In recent years, ACTS has provided training programs that lead to ACI (American Concrete Institute) certification to several companies in Saudi Arabia, such as Saudi Aramco, Saudi Bin Ladin Group, Sodamco, BASF, Saudi Diyar, Al Mabani, and Saudi Ready Mix, complementing similar trainings it has offered to major regional organizations in the Gulf such as Transgulf Readymix Concrete Co.

The Saudi Gazette 2012, Sep 04 2012