As part of its commitment to nurturing local talent, Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) Engineering Department is working with Qatar Independent Technical School (QITS) on an apprenticeship scheme that aims to attract the best talent among young school leavers and increase the number of Qatari nationals among HMC’s engineering staff.
Robert Smith, Director of Engineering at HMC said a partnership has been established with QITS as a potential source of local future engineering talent for HMC. Under the initiative, HMC plans to offer students a two-year apprenticeship after their three-year training at QITS.
“We have started this process by modifying an existing post with specific and dedicated functions to ensure we have the best prospect of success. The new Training, Performance and Development Officer has an initial target to attract between 10 to 15 apprentices on an annual basis. The post is also charged with developing internationally recognized training and academic courses, and setting up training agreements with external agencies, training centers, educational establishments and universities. This will ensure that we are able to attract, nurture, train, educate and produce world class engineers to provide the highest quality services,” said Mr. Smith.
The partnership was formalized in a recent small ceremony at the Engineering Department, HamadMedicalCity, which was attended by officials from both organizations.
“We see it as a really good opportunity for Qataris who are interested in engineering to develop their complete career path through our organization,” said Mr. Smith. “After two years of apprenticeship, the trainees will become full-fledged technicians. If they are academically-minded, they can then go on to obtain further education such as earning their master’s degrees and move further up the career ladder with the right qualifications and experience.”
There are about 20 Qatari nationals among 600 staff members currently working in HMC’s Engineering Department. The initiative, which is in keeping with the national Qatarization program, will help increase this number and satisfy recruitment needs when older employees leave HMC.
“We have about 180 people who are over 55 years old in our department, and every year we may have about 30 people leaving. Now if we have a two-year apprenticeship, in the future we will no longer need to go through the difficult process of trying to recruit internationally, where finding really good staff can be uncertain. If we can train our own people to work on our own systems, then we can ensure we have a workforce that is equipped to meet the demands of HMC,” said Mr. Smith.
Abdullah Shams, Principal of QITS said, “Our school’s strategic plan is to have a connection with all pioneer corporations, and HMC is one of these corporations that we aim to cooperate with, especially since our two organizations have certain intersecting goals. HMC needs the qualified national caliber to fill the gaps in employing Qataris. QITS is the only technical school that provides Qatari nationals with high technical certificates, and these certificates give our students the advantage over graduates of other schools.”
QITS has more than 400 students and up to 200 students graduate per year. The students are targeted by many companies in the civil, industrial and military sectors, which are invited to participate in the school’s annual career day. HMC’s Engineering Department was one of the participants in the event.