Dubai-based contractor ALEC, and global consultancy firm WSP, collaborated next in their series of a joint graduate and early career professional initiative.

The programme brings together graduates and early career professionals from both firms for a series of development workshops aimed at encouraging the type of collaboration and knowledge sharing which both firms argue is crucial for to delivery of the future pipeline of construction work. The initiative took place on December 5, 2017, with 75 graduates and existing high potential staff from the two firms attending a development workshop at The Jumeirah Creekside Hotel.

The workshop included a panel debate with leaders from each business and a competition to design infrastructure and developments for a hypothetical project based on Mars. This is in line with the Emirates Mars vision, where a UAE spacecraft is set to arrive at Mars in 2021 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the founding of the UAE.

The competition designed to give the graduates a real life experience of working as a team on the design and construction of a project and understand it from different stakeholder’s perspectives. Teams were assigned roles, from main contractor, to designer, supervision team, and programme manager, and given a different aspect of a fictional development to design and build within a set budget. They had to deal with real-life situations such as a last minute variations and changes of deadline, before presenting their work back to the ‘client’ where they were assessed on their work.”

WSP managing director, Greg Kane said: “Fostering collaborating in everything we do is one of our five WSP ‘guiding principles’. We want our young professionals to understand early in their career the value and importance of learning from and collaborating with others in our industry. To realise that their skills and knowledge in isolation are not enough to lead to successful project outcomes and to be curious, particularly about the challenges other stakeholders face and how we might be able to help. Kez Taylor, CEO, ALEC added: “Bringing our graduates and early career professionals together in this way is about collaboration of the industry. We don’t work in isolation, we work extremely closely with all our industry partners and with the challenges ahead of delivering the huge programme of construction projects in the region efficiently and sustainably. This is a step working towards successful outcomes for all parties.”