Emirati unemployment rate to reach below 1% by 2021

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Emirati unemployment rate to reach below 1% by 2021
Applicants at Dubai Health Authority stand at Careers UAE 2017 at Dubai World Trade Centre, Dubai on Sunday, 09 April 2017. Photo by Leslie Pableo

Dubai - The UAE government aims to ensure that Emiratis will make up 5 per cent of private workforce

By Sarwat Nasir

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Published: Sun 9 Apr 2017, 8:57 PM

Last updated: Mon 10 Apr 2017, 8:16 PM

The unemployment rate among Emiratis stood at 14 per cent in 2013 and the authority has the goal to bring that figure down to less than one per cent by the year 2021, according to the recruitment firm, TASC Outsourcing.
The UAE government aims to ensure that Emiratis will make up 5 per cent of private workforce in the country by 2020. In 2013, which was also the Year of Emiratisation, the UAE Government had laid out plans to increase the then number of the UAE nationals in the private sector by tenfold by 2021.
"The government sector continues to be more popular amongst the UAE nationals. A TASC study conducted last year revealed public sector is still the first choice for Emirati graduates with eight out of 10 freshly graduated UAE nationals preferring to work in the government sector, rather than the private sector. Shorter work hours, quality of medical services provided by the employer, the number of holidays, the benefits (especially to female employees such as maternity leave) are some of major factors that the graduates would factor in while looking out for a job," CEO and founder of TASC Outsourcing, Mahesh Shahdadpuri said.
"However, we are witnessing a growing change, wherein UAE nationals are now more open to working in private sectors. Millennial generation UAE nationals are more geared towards career progression, gaining experience, learning opportunities and growth (which is faster in private sector). On the organisation's side too, there has been an increase in demand for local talent. Their first preference is to hire the UAE nationals ... partly due to availability of growing talent resource within the region."
Shahdadpuri said that comparing the benefits of working in the public sector and the private sector can be a deterring factor for many Emiratis. "This gap between companies and hiring of nationals can be bridged strategically. Academia has to play larger role in preparing the UAE Nationals for working in private organisations and small or mid-sized companies. Expectation setting, training in multitasking and updated curriculum in consultation with hiring sectors is required. The employment landscape can be changed only by integrating skills with regular mainstream education in colleges and universities.
"On the other hand, private sector companies could look at aligning their holidays and benefits with those of public sector. Companies could also offer more internship opportunities to UAE nationals, which will enable on-the-job learning and better understanding of the skills that the UAE national would be expected to develop," Shahdadpuri said.

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