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Posts made in March, 2011

Emirates NBD to invest Dh50m in Emiratisation

»Posted by on Mar 16, 2011 in News | 0 comments

Dubai: Emirates NBD, the UAE’s largest bank in terms of assets, will invest Dh50 million in hiring and training UAE nationals in 2011, the bank’s chairman announced yesterday to the media after a graduation ceremony of local trainees. As youth across the Arab world protest against unemployment and lack of economic opportunities, Ahmad Humaid Al Tayer, Chairman of Emirates NBD, said the UAE is working to improve the “very low unemployment rate” among nationals. “We are not worried. This is a different economy and it creates jobs in the public and private sector,” he added. Providing jobs for nationals has political, economic and social returns to the country, Al Tayer noted. “There are many challenges, nothing is easy,” he said of the Emiratisation process. “It’s the commitment of the people, their ability to develop their skills, and specialisation requires efforts.” Emirati graduates need skills, training and interaction with others in the workplace and therefore must make use of job opportunities and development programmes available to them, Al Tayer said. Financing opportunities available to local SMEs, such as the Tumooh programme and the Khalifa Fund, as well as the support of local entrepreneurs should help young nationals, he said. “They have to grab these chances. “There is a lot of support for entrepreneurship and as long as we are Emiratising, we create talent that can eventually own businesses rather than be employees.” Al Tayer added. The mandatory Emiratisation rate for large corporations is four per cent. “This is an obligation and any infringement will be monitored,” Al Tayer said. Within the financing sector, banking had the best Emiratisation rate of 35.4 per cent in December 2010 compared to the same period last year, according to a study by the National Human Resources Development and Employment Authority. Proposals The first International Human Resources Conference held last month in Dubai proposed that labour departments in the Gulf states should be primarily responsible for managing local workforces and creating opportunities for them. It also called on GCC governments and the private sector to adopt a strategic approach to the skills gap in the regional job market and make jobs accessible to the local...

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Khalifa Fund to drive Emiratisation

»Posted by on Mar 2, 2011 in News | 0 comments

Dubai: The Khalifa Fund for Emiratisation Empowerment is the best national initiative for empowering Emiratisation in the private sector, according to Ahmad Humaid Al Tayer, head of the Human Resources Development Committee of the financial and banking sector. Helping Emiratis gain a foothold in the private sector has become a national imperative for everyone with the launch of the Khalifa Fund, other officials and academics said. The fund offers subsidies to private companies to encourage them to hire and keep Emirati employees, who will also receive increments to bring their wages on par with scales offered in the public sector. Al Tayer told Gulf News: “It is one of the best initiatives to enable Emiratisation and will eliminate the weak excuses for not hiring Emiratis in the private sector.” Built-in privileges He added that privileges envisaged by the initiative would create better job opportunities for Emiratis in the labour market and also encourage them to remain in the labour market. “This initiative will grant Emiratis a peaceful, professional and social settlement, and stability,” Al Tayer said. The new initiative aims to provide financial resources necessary to support programmes and policies to encourage UAE nationals to enter the private labour sector. Al Tayer called on both employers and Emirati jobseekers to derive maximum benefit from the scheme. “The financial resources offered by this initiative would be sufficient incentive for Emiratis to follow training programmes that enable them to stand competent in the labour market.” He said he is expecting a remarkable increase in the number of Emiratis seeking employment as the door is now open for Emiratis in all job sectors. Al Tayer expressed the hope that employers would respond positively to the initiative since the obstacle they faced in terms of payment to national employees had been addressed. Hani Al Hamli, secretary-general of the Dubai Economic Council (DEC), said the fund would energise the absorption of Emiratis in the private sector. He said the new initiative would help raise the employment rate of nationals across various economic sectors. “That would reduce the labour market imbalance,” he added. Dr Abdul Rahman Al Awar, director general of the Federal Authority for Government Human Resources, said the fund is an excellent initiative that matches the Marriage Fund and the Zayed Housing Programme in terms of its social and economic impact. “With the fund allowing private companies to match the salaries offered by the public sector, these companies have no excuses and must take the initiative to lure Emirati staff,” Dr Al Awar said, stressing that closing the wage gap between the public and private sectors removed a major barrier that kept Emiratis from looking beyond government jobs. Unemployment rate The UAE’s unemployment rate stood at 4.2 per cent in 2009, government statistics show. However, Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, has said this level was still too high for comfort, taking particular note of the tendency of Emirati professionals to be “picky” and constantly be on the lookout for better prospects. A report released by the National Statistics Bureau showed the majority of the unemployed are fresh graduates under the age of 25. Al Hamli also indicated that DEC has already studied the main socio-economic issues in the UAE, particularly national employment in the private sector. The studies recommend that there is a pressing need to tackle this issue through appropriate regulations that encourage Emiratis to work in private entities and, on the other hand, to get private companies themselves to employ nationals, particularly university graduates. “Obviously, the new initiative will bridge the wage gap between the public and private sectors which is regarded so far [as] one of the main challenges facing the labour market in the sense that the national employment rate in the private sector is still too low,” Al Hamli added. “This issue has been dominating the local labour market for decades, leading to larger population and employment imbalances and their inverse implications on the social and cultural scenes.” Dr Abdul Rahim Al Shaheen, professor of political science at the UAE University, said doing away with Emiratisation quotas and offering subsidies instead to help private companies hire, train and retain Emirati staff is an excellent step. Visa system revamp “However, a central authority must be tasked with issuing work visas so that no visa is issued unless there is no suitable Emirati candidate to fill the job. Existing foreign workforce should also be made available, before more visas are issued,” Dr Al Shaheen said. Dr Al Shaheen said the Khalifa Fund for Emiratisation Empowerment should receive support from federal and local entities as well as private companies. He suggested that a...

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