DOHA: Qatar is basking in a jobs boom thanks to hectic pace of infrastructure development, but manpower agencies say it’s a struggle finding certain categories of foreign workers due to the low pay on offer.
Among the most challenging to recruit are semi-skilled workers for the booming construction industry due to unattractive wages, say sources.
Professionals like engineers and finance executives, and even CEOs, are easier to get as pay packages are lucrative enough.
“But it’s a challenge hiring a carpenter from South or South East Asia, for example, since the monthly pay on offer is just QR1,500 to QR2,000 ($550),” said a source from a manpower agency.
“We are witnessing a deluge of requests for all kinds of workers, professionals included, but it’s a tough call to recruit semi-skilled construction hands.”
Agencies hunting for professionals for their clients say they are making way to Europe where economic woes and increasing joblessness make recruitment easier.
Prominent destinations of the recruiters include the UK, France, Spain and Germany and professionals there are too willing to come over for monthly salaries that can go up to as much as QR80,000 ($22,000) for a finance manager, for instance.
But a new market for head-hunting that is emerging for middle-level jobs such as that of an account assistant, for example, is Ukraine.
“Here, we can, for instance get a sufficiently experienced accountant for a monthly pay package of up to QR20,000 ($5,500),” said the recruiter.
A daunting challenge is, however, to get construction site supervisors, and semi-skilled construction hands like turners, fitters, and carpenters, among others.
These categories of workers, whose wages normally range from QR1,500 to QR2,000, have always come from South Asian and South East Asian countries.
“But not anymore, as they are able to make that much money in their home countries. They ask us why they should leave their homes and families behind and brave harsh weather conditions here and loneliness.”
Nepalese workers are among those who are not willing to come here at all for these wages. Until a few years ago, they were literally making a beeline to travel here to take up lower-end construction jobs.
Sources say the construction industry, in particular, needed to look carefully at their pay structures for jobs that required semi-skilled workers as they are crucial to the industry, and do something to help reverse the trend.