(MENAFN - The Peninsula) QNA
A three-day conference on building engineering capabilities, competencies and qualifying them for the workforce got underway yesterday with participation of several Arab countries.
The conference, which is being held under the patronage of the Minister of Energy and Industry H E Dr Mohammed bin Saleh Al Sada, will discuss a number of topics which include building the engineering capabilities and competencies to achieve development, activate the role of engineering and scientific societies and higher education institutions to develop and upgrade engineering competencies and to benefit from the experiences of Arab engineering entities in qualifying engineers. The conference also aims to activate the role of official and private institutions in developing the engineering capabilities and boost them as well as introducing the effects of modern technology on the engineering field and how it reflects in the labour market and to harmonise between the graduates of higher education and qualifying them for the labour market.
Organised by Qatar Society of Engineers (QSE) in cooperation with the Federation of Arab Engineers, the conference is scheduled to review the experiences of Arab and non-Arab engineers who have long-term knowledge in their field of specialization, and those from academic institutions, ministries, government bodies and private sector.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, President of Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation (Kahramaa) Eng Essa bin Hilal Al Kuwari said that the conference was an important opportunity to discuss ways to further improve engineering profession and the challenges facing the Qatari engineer and Arab engineers in general in building their capacities and competencies.
Al Kuwari stressed Qatar's interest in human being as the country's most important investment, pointing out that achieving sustainable human development is one of key pillars of the Qatar National Vision 2030, which was launched by Emir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. The focus on human development is also an essential objective within the national development strategy, Al Kuwari added.
Kahramaa President said that the Government of the State of Qatar is working to equip the Qatari man with knowledge to be an effective contributor to the economic and social life and a major participant in the comprehensive development witnessed by the State. To this end, the State has pursued in cooperation with many specialised think tanks in various fields to obtain the latest international technologies, as well as by sending many students to distinguished international universities to obtain degrees that would contribute to the growth and development of the country through attracting and sponsoring a group of outstanding students in high school and technical high schools and qualifying them at the highest levels in engineering and other disciplines in international universities inside and outside the country, while providing them with full support during their academic studies and graduation to qualify them to gain professional and technical knowledge necessary to prepare them for the labor market in Qatar.
Since the Arab countries are in the stage of growth and development, the biggest support for that is to develop human and technical capacities and raise efficiency, he said, adding that the conference on building engineering capabilities, competencies and qualifying them for the workforce is a strong impetus to the joint work between the Qatari engineers represented in Qatar Society of Engineers and their counterparts in the Federation of Arab Engineers. It is a platform for exchanging experiences to work together to achieve the ambitions of the Arab peoples in meeting the desired growth and development.
Al Kuwari pointed to important challenges facing Arab engineers, including the provision of new engineers with an opportunity to engage in work and gain experience as well as the continuous development of experienced engineers and giving them opportunities for self-development and skills development.
Kahramaa President expressed his confidence that the conference, through its working papers and constructive discussions in various aspects, will result in positive outcomes, solutions and proposals in favor of the development and building of engineering capabilities, saying that Kahramaa welcomes creative solutions in this field.
Ahmed Jassim Al Jolo, Chairman of Qatar Society of Engineers (QSE) and head of the Federation of Arab Engineers, said that the theme of building engineering capabilities and competencies and qualifying them for the workforce was selected in view of the great challenges faced by Arab engineers in the light of the technological developments and changes taking place in the world, where Arab engineers must address these challenges with confidence and knowledge and know-how.
He stressed that the current mega projects and those that are planned for the future need capable and efficient engineers who possess know-how that qualify them to plan, design and implement such projects, especially that the Arab world is full of mega projects such as airports, ports, railways, roads, bridges, tunnels, electricity and water networks, construction and maintenance works in many Arab cities.
Eng Al Jolo stressed that the importance of the conference lies in reviewing the experiences of Arab and non-Arab engineers who have long-term knowledge in their field of specialization, and those from academic institutions, ministries, government bodies and private sector.
Head of the Conference and QSE Board Member Abdullah Muhammed Heji Al Baker said that the number of engineers in the State of Qatar reached 47,600 engineers, according to the statistics of the Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics. They work in various fields, he said, adding that the number of Qatari engineers are 2,900 engineers, representing 1.8% of the population of Qatar, a ratio similar to that of Japan.
He pointed out that the Engineers Acceptance Committee in Qatar includes many specialties and 31 disciplines and the number of engineers registered in this committee exceeds 13,000 in different disciplines.
Al Baker stressed the importance of the engineering profession, adding that engineering disciplines have been evolving and there are now 31 engineering disciplines.
He pointed out that the conference will discuss how to develop one of the oldest professions, starting from entering the university until joining the labor market, noting that the lectures and meetings of the conference on building engineering capabilities and competencies and qualifying them for the workforce will begin on Tuesday, with the participation of 8 Arab countries. More than 20 papers and a discussion session will be held where participants will discuss how to develop the engineering profession and benefit from the experiences and lessons learned by presenting the experiences of Arab countries in this area, he said.
The conference is attended by many Arab engineering syndicates and associations such as Order of Engineers and Architects of Lebanon, the Algerian engineers syndicate, Iraqi Engineers Union, Palestinian Engineers Syndicate, Oman Society of Engineers and Kuwait Society of Engineers.
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