Green Prophet readers, as we know, are not only dreamers, they are doers. For all those that want to play your part, a job in clean technology might be up your alley. Today we interview Sam Newell from Renewable Energy Jobs, on trends and renewable energy jobs up for grabs in the Middle East.
Green Prophet: Tell us a little bit about your background and why you founded Renewable Energy Jobs
Sam Newell: I’m a career recruiter, and have been in recruitment for about 12 years. I ran technology recruitment businesses as well as focusing on financial services. I have also held roles such as Head of Recruitment & Resourcing for a global consulting business and Leadership Recruitment Manager for a FTSE listed financial services firm.
I started my own executive search firm in 2006 specialising in the early stage cleantech market and I noticed that there was very few quality advertising opportunities within the renewable energy recruitment sector.
In my opinion many of the existing sites where too broad in their scope for what I needed. There were quality ‘green’ or ‘environmental’ sites but little specifically for renewables.
Those that were renewables focused often appeared badly designed or were overpriced in my opinion. I was a technology recruiter during the internet boom of the 90’s, I also had a go at building my first online business at that point which wasn’t a huge success, it did teach me a few things though and so I have a few more tools to use when assessing websites than many recruiters I guess.
Charging hundreds of dollars or pounds to advertise on a site with little traffic is pointless.
I am passionate about having a positive impact on climate change. I started my search firm as I thought with my skill set that was the best way for me to have an impact but I realised that by building RenewableEnergyJobs.com I could have a much larger impact and help many more businesses and recruiters who I imagined like me might be finding it hard to find could channels to market.
What are companies looking for and would they be willing to hire people from the Middle East? I don’t think I can comment on why companies would hire people from the ME however the ME is becoming a hotspot for some of the most exciting projects in the sector.
The £250m joint early stage cleantech fund involving the Qatari government and the Carbon Trust to leverage UK IP is incredibly exciting; the Masdar initiative is probably one of the most exciting projects anywhere currently.
All of this shows that the Middle East (ME) is starting to seriously think about their own strategy for a world with far less dependence on oil. The level of investment in cleantech from the ME, particularly UAE demonstrates that commitment.
At the moment there is still a real skills shortage particularly for engineers who have had experience of any major renewable energy technology such as wind or solar. Clearly there is a lot of cross over between many of the skills and experience from other industries such as oil & gas, manufacturing. Companies are looking for people with transferable skills and a passion for alternative energy.
Do you have any jobs available for people based in the Middle East? Can you give us some examples.
Human Capital Enabling Director – Riyadh
Senior Environmental Consultant – Abu Dhabi
Project Manager CDM – Abu Dhabi
Principal Waste Consultant – Dubai
PDM/NR Project Delivery Manager – Dubai
SPE/NR Senior Project Engineer – Abu Dhabi
Who is coming to your site, and are people finding successful matches? The site is getting 50,000 – 60,000 unique visitors per month on average, we have over 800 recruiting organisations from around the world registered to advertise and on average between 500-600 jobs in 20+ countries around the world.
The site has a broad reach, we have people at all levels from graduates and interns through to CEO’s using the site. The feedback is very positive and so I can only assume that people are finding suitable candidates and jobs.
What industry now is most in need and how can people who’d like careers in clean technology prepare for the future? Wind and Solar are the two biggest growth areas. Training. If you want to get into the industry get some relevant training and qualifications.
Also demonstrate your interest in the industry with actions. Start writing a blog on renewable energy, write a paper. Put in some work with an early stage company (who are always desperate for resource) for free, and gain experience.
If two candidates apply for the same job, neither have paid experience both claim to have an interest in the sector but one writes a regular blog on a particular subject, attends conferences, and volunteers with a green or pro renewables not for profit as well as having offered services to a couple of early stage firms.
Guess which one will get the job?
Let us know your favorite source of renewable energy news and why. For jobs news RenewableEnergyJobs.com (but I would say that!) I actually don’t follow anyone news source in particular. I have Google Alerts set up with keywords so that I get the latest news from around the world on subjects that interest me to my inbox daily.
Thanks Sam! Be sure to check out new updates on Renewable Energy Jobs.