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Sun 6 Jun 2010 07:06 AM

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Emirati public sector jobs 'at saturation point' - study

Gov't should focus on education reform, subsidise private sector wages - report.

Emirati public sector jobs 'at saturation point' - study

The Emirati public sector employment market is reaching “saturation point” and more steps are needed to push UAE nationals into the private sector, according to a new report.

The study by researchers from United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) urged government to focus on educational reform and the subsidisation of private sector wages rather than Emiratisation quotas, UAE daily The National reported on Sunday, citing the report.

It said the state can no longer act as an employer of first and last resort, adding that the government should concentrate on diversifying the economy and subsidising the salaries of Emiratis in the private sector.

In April, it was reported that 60 percent of UAE nationals working in the private sector resigned from corporate positions due to a lack of career progression.

According to the Emirates National Development Programme (ENDP), while there has been an increase of Emiratis working in the private sector since the establishment of the Emiratisation programme, retention remains a serious issue.

Concern has also been rising over Emirati unemployment, which has reached 14 percent in Abu Dhabi.

“There is a growing realisation within the region that public sector bureaucracies have reached the saturation point. They can no longer act as an employer for first and last resort,” the study, cited by the National, said.

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MB 10 years ago

There is always the option to become proper government employees and get involved in education, research, community building, etc. but they obviously won't be high paying. There are always options for those that want to do something.

ahmed 10 years ago

@MB...There are always options for those that want to do something....the million $ question!!

Sanjay Keshup 10 years ago

I do not understand the need for the debt struck government of Dubai to induce subsidies into the private sector... that does not serve as a means to any sort of end. The institutions have been built, as has the needed infrastructure to bring out the best amongst the Emiratis. I feel subsidizing private sector wages would get you no where, as opposed to subsidizing the means(retraining, university educations, and other population enrichment initiatives). Then we can have more Emiratis entering the private sector and competing for jobs that are not currently given to them. Subsidizing wages for jobs that are currently being performed by other expats at half the salary is a short term fix, at the end of the day global companies want the best, and to develop the best, you need to remove them from any sort of comfort zone. That is just my opinion. I may be incorrect or short sighted, eager to hear views.

Confused 10 years ago

I don’t understand the unnecessary complexities of this issue and I am still at a loss when attempting to understand the necessity to provide any subsidies. Obviously, there is a crisis, if we can call it that for drawing Emiratis into the private sector. It doesnt make sense for any private organisation to take on any one particular culture in any country because it isnt a culture or demographic that brings about organisational success. Business is business. Business requires maintaining and augmenting revenue stream, minding cash flow and diversifying and innovating to produce success. Success in any company is not achieved by culturally-unilateral hires. If my country were to pay indigenous people "extra" to perform the tasks that any other person could perform, public sector or private sector....there would be quite an unimaginable mass of money in back payments to those workers, skilled or otherwise. Is "extra" money, more money to a preferential group what is needed to motivate into the private sector? If so, we are headed into a downward spiral for a developing market that prides itself in leaps and bounds into the future. I realize that it is not the entire demographic because many local Emiratis are happy to work in the private sector for fair price but if the government makes subsidizing of salary the status quo, they are writing new rules into a rule book of harmful economics and creating the standard for something that should never be. In order for a country to develop into a true economy, it needs its people to contribute, learn and grow and take pride in all aspects of the business sector. Not be "persuaded" to contribute. Not many other nations in the world need to persuade their people to dig in and make a difference. I see more and more locals getting involved in the private sector, whether through entrepreneurial means or just plain desire to work. I hope that it continues. It's nice to receive more but it shouldn't be a necessity.

His Excellency Dr Paul 10 years ago

The oil will run out at some point, maybe 20 years, maybe 50. But it will run out. At that point, the UAE is going to have to support what will have become a much larger local population without the flow of commodity cash to fund all these subsidies, government jobs and foreign skilled and unskilled workers. It would be far better to start to manage expectations now, and instill a little more realism in the workforce. Changing behaviour has to be about carrot and stick - but at present it's all carrots - huge deep-fried, sugar-coated carrots. Maybe it is time for the market to start to take over. The UAE limits the supply of expat staff, and then the UAE population must step up to what jobs are available at whatever prices business can afford.

Raj 10 years ago

1 billion population in india, the govt did not provide jobs to all of them , neither did the govt provide food and shelter and benefits to all . We all worked hard to earn all these .

Confused 10 years ago

If you are interested in understanding a little more about India's success as an economy, watch this presentation: http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/shashi_tharoor.html

Captain Canuck 10 years ago

I'm Canadian....and we would never receive a subsidy from our government. We have the second largest oil reserves on the planet, in Canada, just second to KSA. We have 1 billion square kilometres of land with just 34 million people. UAE has 83,000 square kilometres of land with 5 million people. You'd think that our local people would receive a little more than just free healthcare but we don't get it, we don't ask for it and we work our fingers to the bone to keep our lives sorted out. We drive the taxis, we serve the happy meals, we crunch numbers for companies, we sell our companies' products and we teach our children..... We don't require motivation and, come to think of it....we usually don't want public sector jobs because, regardless of the job security, they don't pay that much.

Billy 10 years ago

I think the posts have gone off track here. The question is about how to get more Emirati's into the private sector? For me the solution is simple - make the Emirati workforce competitive with regards to skills, work ethic, salary demand etc and they will find jobs in the private sector. I think this will take a generation if the task is started now - go to the schools and start to build in commercial awareness, let the Emirati teenagers take summer jobs and part time jobs, Saturday jobs so they get the hang of working for a living, fund private sector management training schemes for Emirati graduates not their salaries. However, I think we have to accept the current generation as being lost - too many chips on their shoulders, too many poorly founded expectations. But start the work now and the future could lok very bright indeed.

Blackberry 10 years ago

Hey Captain Canuck, dont praise the the government too much. Canadians dont recieve subisidies? What do you call welfare? what do you call tax rebates or child support payments?? What do you call subsidized housing? what do you call healthcare (paid by taxes, but what you pay in is a fraction of what you get out). What do you call education subsidies? No, YOU dont drive the taxis: immigrants with degrees drive them. Immigrants who were brought in to work as doctors find themselves unable to work because the government has not found a way to overcome the obstacles set by professional associations, THOSE people work as taxi drivers. Those people also work in Tim Hortons, and as pizza delivery guys. Students and immigrants work in mcdonalds, not the average 'white' Canadian. You dont want public sector jobs because they dont pay that much? Do you have ANY idea how much an admin assistant gets paid in Ottawa? Check the pay grades (they are available online). Do you know anything about the pensions? about the benefits offered? DO you know that once a public servant retires, they can go back to their same job as a private consultant and make their pension AND a new salary? Did you know all that?? No, you didnt. So please, dont talk about Canada like its god's gift to Earth and dont talk about Canadians as an example of hard working people. They're not. Oh, and in regards to the whole oil thing, have you seen the oil that Canada has? oil SAND, not quite the same as the one found here in the Gulf. And its very, very environmentally destructive: take a trip to Fort Mac like i did and tell me what you see.