The regions new rail networks will need a workforce of more than 100,000 people over the next five years.
[Around] 108,000 staff need to be recruited and trained over next five years. Thats 20,000 people a year, that gives you an idea of the scale of the challenge, said Andrew Russell, member of the board of directors, IR Academy and managing director of the UKs RTI, speaking at MEEDs Mena Rail & Metro Summit on 29 October.
To help develop talent in the region, the Saudi Company for Railway Services is setting up a training facility in Riyadh for Saudi Arabia and the broader region in 2012. The facility is available to train government and private sector employees working in the rail sector.
Other companies are also developing training facilities to help develop expertise. US-based Bechtel, which is leading one of the consortiums building Riyadh Metro, has established a centre of excellence for rail in Dubai. Canadas Bombardier Transportation, which is also working on Riyadh Metro, has set up a project management academy in Saudi Arabia to support its work on rail projects in the kingdom.
Training young local people will create a strong rail industry in the future, said Philippe Casgrain, vice-president, EMEA systems division, Bombardier Transportation.
More from the MEED Rail & Metro Summit
- Bechtel rail head asks for streamlined procurement
- Traffic management a challenge for Riyadh Metro builders
- Arab rail network to cost $90bn to deliver
- Arab countries need 30,000 kilometres of rail network
- Approval granted for GCC railway authority
- GCC to work with foreign partners for local manufacturing
- Award expected in November for Bahrain-Saudi rail link
- GCC railway needs its own standards
- GCC railway targets 2018 completion date
- Cairo metro to complete phase 2 of third line next year
- First Al-Sufouh trams to arrive in Dubai at end of year
- Jeddah metro readies for pre-project management contract tender
- Tehran expects to complete third metro line in 2015
- Kurdistans Suleimaniyah light rail project to tender in 2014
- Length of Middle East rail networks set to double
- Local talent needed for regional railway sector