Human resource professionals from throughout Qatar’s public and private sectors gathered in Doha for the second annual Qatar Career Development Forum, held on April 16-17. Co-organized by Silatech and the Bedaya Center for Entrepreneurship and Career Development, and sponsored by Maersk Oil, the event was attended by over 100 HR professionals from companies and organisations in Qatar.
The Forum featured two days of engaging seminars, workshops and one-to-one sessions designed to address issues, challenges and opportunities relating to young people in the workplace. Focused around attracting, developing and retaining employees from the early stages of their careers, the theme of this year’s Forum was “Help Them to Grow.”
Silatech Qatar Country Representative Alanoud Al-Thani noted that “At Silatech, we believe that everyone stands to benefit from opening new opportunities for our youth. Moreover, all of us-including governments, the private sector, NGOs and others-have a role to play in unlocking doors that have been closed for too long. Successful career development programs not only benefit young people; they also work to the advantage of innovative, proactive organizations who reach out to more effectively utilize the full potential of our youth.”
Saleh Al Khulaifi, Board Member of the Bedaya Center, stressed the importance of career development, saying that “At the Bedaya Center, we believe that effective career development strategies empower both individuals and the organizations that employ them. The Qatar Career Development Forum is an ideal platform for advisors, counselors and those interested in human development to gain insights into innovative career development programs. By bringing together world class trainers and covering a broad range of career-related topics, we believe that we can create a positive impact for those seeking to develop themselves, and those who can support them.”
Sheikh Jassim Al-Thani, Head of Qatarization at Maersk Oil Qatar, commented, “We are delighted to be sponsors of the Career Development Forum in partnership with the Bedaya Centre and Silatech for the second year. Developing and nurturing the next generations of young people is vital for the continuing success of Qatar and the companies, organisations and institutions within it. This forum has been designed to support human development, build capacity and promote ways to maximize human potential. The forum addresses a key component in this by supporting HR professionals facilitate better career development opportunities for young people in the workforce, and we are proud to be part of it.”
Sheikh Jassim Al-Thani delivered the opening address, while Dr. Norman Amundson, Professor in Counseling Psychology at the University of British Columbia, outlined how workplace attraction can be an effective method for assessing organizational climate, as well as the career motivation and satisfaction of young people. TypeFocus President David Wood spoke on the importance of competency frameworks, performance reviews and career development in achieving organizational success, as well as on challenges involved in attracting and retaining young adult employees.
Silatech Senior Career Guidance Manager Salwa Atiyyah and Bedaya Center Career Development Manager Maged Fathallah provided a brief overview of new initiatives from Silatech and the Bedaya Center, while Silatech Program Manager Yehia Houry moderated a panel discussion focusing on best practices with newly-appointed young employees.
Meanwhile, another panel discussion explored the role of career development, and approaches taken, in leading Qatari organizations. “Local Best Practices in Career Development” featured Sheikh Jassim Al-Thani, Head of Qatarization, Maersk Oil; Dr. Jamal Al-Ammari, Talent and Organization Manager, Shell Qatar; Mashaal Al-Muhannadi, Qatari Development and Support Manager, Ooredoo; Abdulrahman Al-Mannai, Learning and Development Manager, RasGas; and Hessa Buhusain, HR Manager, Hamad Medical Corporation (moderator).
One of the main outcomes resulting from the First Qatar Career Development Forum-held in May 2013-was the establishment of an informal advisory body consisting of human resources experts and professionals, as well as highly talented and active young Qataris. This group advised on the topical content of the Second Career Development Forum, and assisted with outreach efforts. Following the success of the Second Career Development Forum, a recognized advisory group will be formed, bringing representatives from general and higher education together with industry leaders to further improve career development opportunities within Qatar.