By Soren Billing
Gov't agency set to launch to encourage new approach on future jobs for UAE nationals.
Dubai is to launch a new government agency this year that will ensure all public education in the emirate is in tune with private sector demand for labour, the head of the Emirates Nationals Development Programme (ENDP) has said.
Despite Dubai’s historical status as a trading hub, an overwhelming majority of young Emiratis would prefer a career in the public sector, where jobs are perceived to be more secure, to one within a private company, ENDP executive director Essa Al Mulla said.
It is not until they hit the job market that many realise there may be more and better opportunities in the private sector.
“The new agency will focus on what the market’s requirements are,” Al Mulla said.
“Instead of saying that we will teach the students based on the government’s needs, the education system will be based on the future needs of the market.”
A new programme will help Emiratis understand the job market from a very young age, so that when they graduate they come to the job market with the right set of skills, he added.
The new organisation will work closely with ENDP, whose role is to match existing job candidates with openings in the private sector by liaising with companies and providing the relevant training.
Al Mulla said that he hasn’t noticed any slowdown in the job market.
ENDP has found jobs for more than 350 Emiratis in the year to date, compared with around 100 people in the corresponding period last year and 1,840 people in 2008.
For more on Emiratisation, see the January 25 issue of Arabian Business magazine.
It is positive that the UAE is finally leaning in the direction of ensuring its citizens have economically useful skills. The focus should be on engineering, science and medicine - these are vital skills that are needed to run the country and reduce the dependence on foreign experts. For example, the oil industry is the major UAE industry, yet virtually all the oil engineers needed to run it are from abroad. The key must be to encouraging work by reducing the safety net of easy and relaxed government positions, not by trying to force companies to hire Emiratis through a quota system. That will just force up company costs and they'll end up going elsewhere.