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Luring talent is high on agenda for high-tech executives

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Abu Dhabi, UAE: Global leaders in aerospace, aviation, space and defence will discuss the critical issue of finding talent to secure the future of their industries at the CEO Workforce Summit in Abu Dhabi at on April 6.

The exclusive, high-level strategic gathering for Chief Executive Officers will be held in the run up to the second Global Aerospace Summit from April 7 to 8. Both events will take place at the St Regis Hotel on Saadiyat Island.

“The aerospace, aviation, space and defence industries are facing tough competition from other sectors to attract STEM graduates. The challenge is no longer just a matter for HR departments, it is now an area of concern for senior executives,” said Masood Sharif Mahmood, CEO of Al Yah Satellite Communications Company (Yahsat).

Attendees at The CEO Workforce Summit will debate strategies to build a diverse and well-trained science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce. Discussions at the invitation-only session include how to predict talent shortages and how to attract talent in emerging markets, where these industries are growing.

“A major challenge is managing the balance between skilled workers reaching the age of retirement and developing the next generation,” Mr Mahmood said. “To do this, we must collaborate with educational and training institutions and help educators teach science.”

He added: “We also need to look at ways to retain the workforce by providing career development and establishing a positive working culture. At Yahsat, we want our employees to be empowered and become role models in their communities.

Ali Ahmed Al Naqbi, Middle East Business Aviation Association’s (MEBAA) founding chairman, said: “The demand for workforce across industry sectors in the Middle East is experiencing fast-paced growth more than any other region around the world.

“This will only continue to grow over the next few years while current available talent is unable to match the demand. This is a serious issue that requires careful attention; and fast solutions need to be found,” said Ali.

Al Naqbi added: “Attracting workforce is easy, but the challenge is in attracting the right and qualified talents. This will be one of the crucial points of discussion at the CEO Workforce Summit.

Hosted by Mubadala Development Company and organised by Streamline Marketing Group, the Global Aerospace Summit 2014 is an invitation-only strategic forum for senior international industry leaders in aviation, aerospace, defence and space. The event is expected to attract 1,000 global C-level executives, making it one of the year’s most important industry forums.

The Summit will see the launch of an initiative to inspire the next generation of industry leadership, the ‘Global Aerospace Ambassadors’ programme. The programme is designed to help educators teach science, technology, engineering and mathematics. It aims to inspire students and provide parents with information to guide informed educational choices.

The inaugural Summit in 2012 attracted more than 900 C-suite executives from 52 countries.  The 2014 event will include delegates from emerging markets such as Russia, China, India, Eastern Europe and South America.

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