Educational requirement rule likely to be eased

DUBAI - With the enforcement of a ministerial order issued in February this year by Mattar Humaid Al Tayer, Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, under which employment visas are issued to workers holding secondary school certificates, officials of the ministry are considering a proposal to add some more professions to the categories exempted from the secondary school certificate condition.

By Sanaa Maadad

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Published: Sun 4 May 2003, 12:25 PM

Last updated: Wed 1 Apr 2015, 10:58 PM

The officials feel that heavy vehicle drivers and fishermen should be exempted from the condition and be added to the exempted categories of Arabs and construction workers who do not need a high school certificate to seek employment in the UAE.

The officials said that the proposal would be discussed at length at a weekly meeting between heads of departments and the under-secretary of the ministry for Labour Affairs on Wednesday.

An appendix to the ministerial order No 161 issued on February 22 listed 33 activities in the contracting and construction sector whose workers are exempted from the rule. The activities are: groundwork at construction sites; demolishing of buildings and removal of debris; dewatering and drying soil; excavation, earthing and levelling works; sand compacting; piling and foundation; coastal land dewatering and drying; water passage excavating and deepening: general contracting for civil constructions; building of unlimited storeys; ground+mezzanine+ seven storey buildings; ground+mezannine+four storey buildings; ground+mezannine+ one storey buildings; ground storey buildings; prefabricated concrete construction works; prefabricated wood building; metal construction work; road construction; construction and repair of tunnels; construction and repair of dams and bridges; construction works of ports and marine installations; general maintenance; excavation and maintenance of water-wells; concrete works; concrete restoration work; tiles, marble and ceramic fixing works; paints and dyes works; carpentry and flooring works; installation and maintenance of building insulation/ proofing materials; building maintenance; scaffolding erection; false ceiling and light partition installations and interior/ exterior landscaping.

Salem Ali, Director of the Foreign Labour Relations at the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and Head of the Dubai Employment Visa Committee, told Khaleej Times yesterday that although the order stipulates its enforcement from the beginning of May, the committee looked yesterday into applications for visas filed before that date.

"Yesterday we approved employment visas for expatriates who do not have high school certificates."

However, he stressed that as of today, workers coming for jobs other than those specified in the order, would be denied employment visas if they did not have attested and certified high school certificates - the minimum educational requirement.

This decision was taken by the government as a means to enhance the standard of foreign manpower in the country and to improve the local labour market by getting rid of unqualified and uneducated workers.

According to Article 4 of the order, the new rule does not apply to expatriate workers already working in the country. The secondary school certificate rule applies only to newly recruited workers.

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