Abu Dhabi-UAE: 04 February, 2015 The third Green Career Fair hosted by the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology wrapped up with strong interest from local and international industries in the UAE’s new high-tech engineering graduates, revealing the growing value of the renewable energy and advanced technology sectors targeted by the UAE leadership.
Through this third Green Career Fair, Masdar Institute has demonstrated its continuing commitment to providing the high-value human capital needed for the UAE’s knowledge-economy transformation, as well as the increasing interest of local and international industry in its fresh engineering and science graduates. Within the next six years, Abu Dhabi plans to have renewable energy produce 7% of its energy needs, while Dubai has recently upped its own target to 15% by 2030. Additionally, the UAE has included renewable energy as one of the seven sectors it will develop as part of its Innovation Strategy, which looks to make the country one of the world’s most innovative by 2021.
This focus on the renewable energy and sustainable technology sectors are estimated to contribute 25,663 job-years of additional direct jobs in the UAE by 2030, according to research from Masdar Institute. These are jobs that demand specialized skills related to engineering, technical certification, analysis and administration, which can often prove challenging to fill.
The Green Career Fair, which Masdar Institute hosted during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), serves to connect the UAE’s technical graduates and professionals with the renewable energy and sustainable technology companies that are looking for their unique talents.
“We are an environmental agency and it’s difficult to find people with environmental science or chemical engineering backgrounds. This career fair’s sustainability focus helps us to find such qualified people,” said Ayesha Al Nahdi from the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD).
The EAD was one of nine major players in green sectors featured at the fair, giving the UAE’s new renewable energy and alternative technology graduates the opportunity to display their potential as future employees.
To help the attending graduates and professionals stand out in the rapidly growing global green sector, two professional websites – LinkedIn and Bayt.com – were on hand to share how best to utilize their platforms for professional advantage.
LinkedIn was represented by Pascale Comaty, Middle East and North Africa Marketing Manager at LinkedIn, who discussed ‘Five Things You Should be Doing on LinkedIn’. It detailed the opportunities that are missed by prospective employees on the job-networking site. Suha Haroun, Regional Manager and Human Resources Director at Bayt.com, spoke to attendees regarding the Gulf job market with an informative presentation titled ‘The Next Big Thing: The Recruitment Landscape of the Middle East.’
Over the four day event, company presentations were also made by Imtiaz Mahtab, Executive Vice President, Middle East and North Africa, Air Liquide and Martin Tillman, Director, Transport and Master Planning Transport, Ramboll, where participants were given a glimpse into the green corporate world and the potential employment opportunities it contains.
Human resources and sustainability experts also held discussions at the event, imparting advice and expertise to students and prospective employees.
Holley Chant, Executive Director, Corporate Sustainability at KEO International Consultants, gave a presentation titled ‘Entry Level Sustainability Consulting: Employment Opportunities and the Skills Required to Land the Role’, which shared key skills a candidate should possess to gain employment in the green sector. Her presentation was aimed at helping fresh graduates gain access to the green sector, which tends to be both highly-sought after and highly-competitive, and thus especially demanding in its expectations for new hires.
A number of industries involved in sustainability were invited to make presentations regarding job opportunities and graduate programs so that participants were aware of their career options.
An expert from the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy provided an invaluable insider view of how the electricity sector in the UAE will be changing in the coming years to incorporate new smart and renewable technologies.
Faisal Ali Rashid, Director of Demand Side Management at Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, gave a presentation on ‘Demand Side Management 2030: Strategy and Implementation,’ which is part of the Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030 and has a goal of reducing energy demand by 30% by 2030.
The management strategy aims to promote energy conservation; support energy security by inducing lower dependency on external supply and lower exposure to price volatility; support safety and environment by introducing modern equipment and best practices; promote the creation of a smart city by introducing new technologies like remote load control and smart grids; and create additional jobs and capabilities through efficiency initiatives – a point of particular relevance to the attendees of the Green Career Fair.
Another guest at the fair who shared information on green opportunities in the UAE’s was Ivano Iannelli, Chief Executive Officer of the Dubai Carbon Center of Excellence. The Dubai Carbon Center of Excellence was established through an agreement between the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy and the United Nations Development Program to facilitate the transition of Dubai and the UAE to a low carbon economy.
Many students and graduates are unaware of the recruitment requirements and processes of international companies. To help rectify this, Gautam Goenka, an experienced recruitment and learning professional with General Electric Company (GE), presented a talk titled ‘How to Impress the Recruiter,’ Goenka currently leads the global talent recruitment team at GE and through his presentation he imparted details of the qualities and attributes that GE seeks when attracting graduates to its organization.
GE was present at the Green Career Fair throughout the event, which facilitated networking and meeting of prospective employees. Bindhu Pradeep, Recruitment Events Manager, Middle East North Africa and Turkey, described the benefits the fair provides to an international company such as GE.
“This is our second year here at the career fair. We saw a lot of students and young talent who were keen on GE and what we’re doing, especially students from Masdar Institute. It’s a great platform to be here, a lot of talent is under one roof; experienced people and fresh graduates,” she said.
The hosting of this Green Career Fair by Masdar Institute showed its continuing dedication to the development of human capital in Abu Dhabi and the UAE, and its promotion of careers in the sustainable technology and advanced technology sectors. With 2015 declared to be the Year of Innovation by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, next year’s fair can only expect to see even greater growth and excitement in the country’s innovative green sectors.