Acareer trend currently being seen in the United Arab Emirates is the habit of ‘job hopping’, where employees will leave a well-paid job after a short time just for a better salary – even if it is a minimal increase.
This in turn means that they aren’t receiving the specialised industry experience they need at the early stages of their careers to ensure a steady rise up the career ladder, the head of the Emirates Nationals Development Programme (ENDP)has said today.
Speaking ahead of the Emiratisation Summit, which takes place at the Tawdheef Recruitment Fair on 2-4 February at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre,Essa Al Mulla, Executive Director at the ENDP says the challenge being presented by this trend is the retention of Emirati employees in private sector companies.
“We are focusing on advocacy work to change the way companies look at Emiratis – they are a potential asset to the company and not a liability, so it is in the company’s long term interest to invest the time and effort to mentor and support the career development of young Emiratis.
For 2015 we are planning a number of retention initiatives aimed at improving the companies’ approach, and also the attitudes of the Emirati community as a whole towards the private sector.” said AlMulla.
The private sector is witnessing an increase in Emiratis joining the workforce, especially at a graduate level, due to the public sector only having a limited amount of positions therefore increasing competition for every government job that may become available. Furthermore, over the past few years companies have been changing their attitudes towards Emirati employees and making the private sector a more attractive career option.
“Although the private sector may not be able to compete with the public sector on salary in the short term, it can provide UAE nationals with a varied career and excellent experience in line with international standards.In the long term, if the candidate works hard and applies him or herself, he or she can potentially earn a larger salary than if employed by the government.”
According to AlMulla the future of Emiratisation looks bright, but caution still needs to be taken about how to handle the growth; “Right now I am glad to say that the short term position of Emiratisation is very good. With unemployment dropping from 10.7% in 2007 to 2.6% in 2013, I don’t consider unemployment to be a problem. However we can see from the projections by KHDA of the education system, that over 55,000 Emiratis are expected to enter the workforce from schools and colleges so we cannot be complacent about things.” he commented.
“We are therefore focusing on retention programmes to drive the unemployment percentage below the 2013 level, and if we take in to consideration that the EXPO 2020 expects to create around 280,000 jobs, then we are looking at a good proportion of these to be taken up by Emiratis. So I foresee a very optimistic Emiratisation picture by the year 2020.” added AlMulla.
Now in its ninthyear, Tawdheef boasts an exhibitor profile lineup covering a vast range of government and private organisations from sectors including finance, recruitment, oil and gas, retail, telecommunications, IT, media, transport and logistics, industrial and manufacturing, investment, defense and security, and health and insurance.
The three-day event is held under the patronage of H.E. Sheikh NahayanMabarak Al Nahayan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development and supported by Titanium sponsor GHQ Armed Forces, Platinum Sponsors National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Police GHQ, SENAAT – General Holding Corporation, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank and Gold Sponsors Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, Department of Municipal Affairs,Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, Abu Dhabi Media Company and Higher Corporation for Specialized Economic Zones (ZonesCorp) all of which will have current job openings and long-term career opportunities to offer Emiratis.
The Emiratisation Summit sponsors are as follows; Gold Sponsor – Tanfeeth; Emirati Youth Forum Sponsor – ICAEW; Innovation Partners – The Talent Enterprise and Pera Training
Exhibitor – Manpower Group.