Emiratisation quotas imposed on private companies could eventually be scrapped with subsidies offered to encourage them to hire Emirati staff, it was reported on Tuesday.
Abdullah al Darmaki, the general manager of the Abu Dhabi Tawteen Council (ADTC) said the funds would allow private companies to match the salaries offered by the public sector.
In comments published by UAE daily The National, he did not give a timeline for the phasing out of the quota system, but suggested it would happen as more Emiratis become qualified to enter the private sector.
The subsidies would start immediately, he said, adding: “When you look at the financial model of a certain sector and you realise that the implication of hiring an Emirati is very high, this is where we look into; over a given limited period of time, the Government will subsidise the salary."
Currently, private companies in certain sectors are obliged to employ a certain number of Emiratis but on average, Emiratis make up just four per cent of the private sector workforce, compared to 52 per cent of public sector one.
Al Darmaki told the paper that any subsidy would be reduced over time until the Emirati employee had enough experience to deserve a higher salary.
“Our quota is only there for a limited period of time, I believe,” he said. “Once the education system takes care of itself, and once the employers do find the competence within [Emirati] individuals, you don’t need a quota,” Al Darmaki said at spon the sidelines of the Emiratisation Employer Forum 2010.
The authorities hope that some of the measures proposed at the forum will reduce the Emirati unemployment rate, which has reached 14 per cent in Abu Dhabi and is higher among women and in rural areas.