Published November 14th, 2006 - 11:00 GMT

Does your employer invest in training? If so, you are one of the lucky ones in the Gulf, according to a recent survey by the Middle East’s number one job site,

More than half of the 641 Gulf-based professionals who took part in the online poll in September said they receive no formal training and are expected to ‘learn on the job’.

A further 17.2 per cent said they receive some skills coaching but it is insufficient, and only 32.4 per cent, less than a third, said that industry training is a regular feature of their job. The Bayt survey ran from September 14-21. CEO, Rabea Ataya, said: “While attitudes are changing, there is still the view that employees are a commodity rather than an asset – and there is a reluctance to invest. The Gulf business community needs to plan for the long term and use training to maximise staff performance and motivation.”

Ataya added: “The Gulf is associated with transient workforces, and in the past companies have looked for fully-trained employees that could assume roles with a minimum of coaching. But as cost considerations oblige employers to recruit more staff from the local talent pool, and as companies seek to retain staff, training needs to be given more priority.”

He said: “Training is a vital tool for motivating employees. Lack of skills growth is one of the main reasons why people change jobs, so giving proper thought to job training can save employers money in the long term.”

Ajai Dayal, General Manager for Retail and Marketing at UAE-based business house Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group, has identified a shift towards training in recent years. “The regional market is becoming professional and companies want to keep pace and ensure their staff contribute more. In the last 12 months at Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group, there have been courses for all levels, and the benefits have been substantial.”

Peter Dickens, Group Marketing Manager of Pepsi bottler Dubai Refreshments, agrees that the positives of training justify the investment: “Training is expensive but human resources are a company’s single biggest asset. It is unrealistic to expect new staff to come armed with all the necessary skills, and training is important to keep staff turnover down.”

Regional business can learn valuable lessons from the experience of multinational companies, according to Hamad Malik, Director Marketing and Corporate Communications, LG Electronics Middle East and Africa. LG runs its own university, where employees attend courses for as long as three months, and employees are encouraged to pursue their own retraining, such as MBA study.

Malik said: “If a person’s skills are static then he or she won’t grow and will be left behind. Training should be used a as motivational tool.”

Founded in 2000, Dubai-based has offices in 10 regional cities - Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Riyadh, Jeddah, Al Khobar, Doha, Manama, Kuwait City, Amman and Islamabad.

With a database of more than one million users, mostly from around the GCC but also the wider Middle East, Africa, Asia, North America and Europe, conducts regular user and visitor polls on pressing employment issues. is the leading recruitment consultancy and job site in the Middle East, offering a complete range of end-to-end employment solutions and career planning tools, both online and is fully functional in both English and Arabic and offers the fastest, easiest, most effective and cost efficient methods for employers to find quality candidates, and for job seekers to find top jobs in the Middle East and North Africa. is committed to the region and understands the Middle East market better than anyone else. Its fully bilingual platform is the first and only such platform in the region, and has 10 regional offices: Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait City, Manama, Jeddah, Al Khobar, Amman, Doha, Islamabad. With over 1.2 million professionals and 25,000 leading organisations using’s recruitment services across all industry categories and career levels, is today the single largest marketplace of professionals and companies in the region.  Post your jobs, search our databases or find your dream job online today with, the Middle East’s number one job site.


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