Supply Chain management, which is vital in Middle East, is lacking of universities and training centers to develop a pool of highly skilled workforce for the future.

As the world recovers from the credit crunch, global trade is becoming greater than ever. With an economic growth of 4.9% in 2011, Middle East is reinforcing its strategic position as an important logistics hub between Europe, Asia and Africa.  Meanwhile, senior managers are facing serious challenges in recruiting and retaining supply chain talents to support this expansion in business. During the crisis, only a few companies took stock to strengthen their post-crisis operational readiness by managing their talent and resources adequately. Many others opted for short-term cost cutting solutions which involved ruthless headcount downsizing as a means of survival.

The “2011 State of Supply Chain Education in Middle ” represents B2G Consulting’s largest annual review of  education in supply chain management that includes academics and  industry experts from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE, Oman, Kuwait and Qatar. In summary, the report details the following key points:

Logistics Performance Index (LPI) of the Middle East presents a number of significant gaps in several key areas, specifically in terms of logistics services, compared to other zones in the world such as the US or most European countries.

Managing the supply chain has become increasingly complex especially coupled with the acute shortage of skilled professionals which has forced some companies to outsource part of their activities such as logistics, warehousing or IT.

UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar are still the biggest players in the region for recruiting Supply Chain and Procurement professionals. Industries which require Supply Chain talent the most are; (1) Civil Engineering, (2) Manufacturing and Production, (3) Logistics Services and, (4) Petroleum and Energy

Education reform is at the top of the priority list of Middle East governments; however, the need to develop best talents across the region and reduce the skills gap, is not fulfilled by the current offering of corporate training and educational programs.

The supply chain function will count more than 700,000 professionals in the GCC countries by 2013. At management level, about 1,500 new supply chain managers will be needed on a yearly basis until 2013.  Meanwhile in reality, only 600 students (40% of requirement) with a specialization in Supply Chain Management are entering the market each year.

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The  2011 State of the Supply Chain Education in Middle East aims to draw a concise portrayal of the current situation as seen by supply chain practitioners and academics in the Gulf region.

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