With budget and staff cuts, where the jobs at?
The news is riddled with economic casualties yet recruitment agencies are saying jobs are everywhere. Is this really a case of looking for a job in all the wrong places?
November 23, 2011 3:34 by Precious de Leon
“The problem is that it’s not money-making,” says a consultant in Abu Dhabi, regarding the recent job cuts at clean energy firm Masdar.
No doubt sustainable development has been at the top of Abu Dhabi’s 2030 strategy, with Masdar City at its helm. But have economic realities punctured ambitious albeit good ‘sustainable’ intentions?
And by golly Masdar tried its hardest to try to make things work.
Last year, the company cut $6 billion from its budget for the Masdar City project (which was originally valued at $16 billion) and added a more realistic nine more years to its completion date. But if you think cutting spend is not easy, Masdar will tell you making money is even harder.
In March, the company launched The Future Build, a company to help architects and developers build structures with a smaller carbon footprint by offering training and consulting. Its website, TheFutureBuild.com, also acts as a directory of sustainable brands where companies to check the sustainability of each building products.
According to an October 2011 report in the National, the website has received $272,000 in profits since its launched. Unfortunately, it’s not a very substantial amount when compared to the billions of dollars needed to complete Masdar City.
So Masdar, owned by strategic investment firm Mubadala Development (which is in turn owned by the Abu Dhabi Government), is having trouble making money. But they’re not the only ones that are indicating that we may be experiencing a second wind of economic hailstorm. Last month, for instance, Aldar Properties in Abu Dhabi almost a quarter of its staff (24 percent).
You might say these are still isolated instances and that profiting from renewable energy and the business of sustainable products is an ongoing global issue and that property companies still have a long way to full recovery.
But even the finance services sector is experiencing a second wave of cuts.
Unfortunately, brokerage business Shuaa Capital is shrinking and is expected to axe more jobs, as its shares experience an eight-year low. This will be the second round of job cuts at the company this year. The first was with 39 employees (10 percent of its workforce), who were made redundant in May.
In fact, while yesterday we wrote Schroders has decided to weather the economic storm in Dubai, a worryingly long list of banks have scaled back operations in the UAE, including Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse and Nomura.
WHERE THE JOBS AT?
So with all this talk of job cuts, redundancies and shrinking operations, it’s understandable that some may find it hard to swallow positive news about the job hunting. But apparently according to the latest Monster Employment Index, online recruitment activity has picked up in October.
Backed by online recruitment agency (ahem) MonsterGulf.com, the study said “annual job growth is robust at 7 percent” in the UAE.
There just seems to be a disconnect between what’s happening and what we are being told.
What we can only assume is that these two studies have ran earlier this year and results were only just recently tabulated, which is a fair enough problem with a wide-encompassing research.
They’re not the only optimistic ones. Back in January, online recruitment rival Bayt.com teamed up research firm YouGov to put together the Jobs Index, which found that “more than have of the region’s employer’s (53 percent) plant to recruit over the next few months.”
(Avid Kippers will know YouGov works with Kippreport to create our infographics section, Pulse Populi.)
So where does that leave job hunters and those looking to move? It leaves you with a cautionary tale to keep your eyes peeled and take everything with a sense of grain of salt.
If the surveys are anything to go by the jobs this year are in retail/trade and logistics, education, oil and gas, healthcare, business administration, computer sciences and engineering.
And the no-go zones are pretty much everything else, including finances and accounting, HR & administration, software, hardware, telecom, consumer goods/FMCG, food and packaged food, home appliance, garments/ textiles/ leather, gems and jewellery, healthcare, chemicals/plastic/rubber, paints, fertilizer and pesticides.
If actual news is anything to go by, then so far it’s not looking good for you if you are in property, construction and finance.
So much for following your passion, huh?
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