90% of Emiratis still seek public sector jobs

New survey shows strong preference for gov't roles despite Emiratisation efforts
Ninety percent of Emiratis still prefer to find public sector jobs, despite the countrys Emiratisation efforts. (AFP/Getty Images)
By Andy Sambidge
Mon 30 Jan 2012 06:44 PM

Public sector employment is still the preference for a large majority of UAE nationals despite the country's Emiratisation efforts, new research showed on Monday.

Two thirds of UAE nationals currently employed are actively seeking better job opportunities, while nearly half of those unemployed have been looking for a job for more than 12 months, a survey, conducted by Informa Exhibitions, showed.

The survey said that the public sector still remains the most preferred workplace option for UAE nationals, with 90 percent of respondents indicating a preferral to work in government organisations.

The most common reasons for a public sector preference were higher salaries, better working hours, more job security, and the perception that public sector organisations would treat them better than organisations in the private sector.

Comments made by respondents in the survey indicated many feel a patriotic duty to serve their country, though the majority agreed that for experience and skills development, the private sector trumps.

It also showed that out of a total of 365 respondents, almost half (45 percent) were unemployed.

Another third were employed in the public sector, and a further 22 percent in the private sector. 

Sixty five per cent of those employed said they were actively looking for a new job to improve their work and career opportunities. 

Researchers also found a gender gap among Emiratisation employment rates; more than half (55 percent) of the female respondents were unemployed and actively seeking a job, while just 32 percent of male respondents were out of work.

When asked what the main challenges were for UAE national job seekers while looking for a job in the private sector, 58 percent of respondents said that they felt that salaries would be below expectations, with 49 percent commenting that they felt that there weren't enough jobs available for UAE nationals in the private sector.

Informa, organisers of the Tawdheef Recruitment Show, which opens on Tuesday in Abu Dhabi, said the survey was conducted on 365 UAE nationals between the ages of 18 to 40.

Hayete Jemai, Tawdheef exhibition director, said: "The UAE national survey was developed to gain a better understanding of the underlying themes of how Emiratis perceive public and private sector work environments, and the main challenges they face when looking for work in the private sector.

"It is part of an ongoing study to find out how we can help integrate Emiratis into the private sector and assist organisations with aligning their Emiratisation targets and objectives."

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