Govt depts not serious about emiratisation: Labour official

DUBAI — The percentage of UAE nationals in the Federal Government sector dropped to 35.1 per cent in 2005 as against 39.8 per cent in the preceding year (2004).

By A Staff Reporter

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Published: Sat 17 Jun 2006, 10:49 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 7:22 PM

The sharp 4.7 per cent decline in the number of civil servants from UAE has prompted the National Human Resource Development and Employment Authority (Tanmia) to call upon ministries and federal organisations and departments to revise their Emiratisation plans.

“The Studies and Research Centre recently conducted a field and statistical research on the number of UAE nationals working in the government sector and arrived at the conclusion that there has been a general decline in the number of UAE white collar workers, according to Dr Khalid Al Khazraji, under-secretary to the Ministry of Labour, who is also acting director-general of Tanmia.

The total number of employees in federal government departments, however, had risen 20 per cent during 2004-2005, but without any proportional increase in the number of UAE nationals, Al Khazraji observed.

The imbalance was brought into sharp focus by the rising number of expatriate workers in the different federal and local government sectors, he said and conjectured that the absence of a fully integrated strategy of Emiratisation could be to blame.

Such a strategy was almost non-existent and, where present, rather unclear, almost not existing, and if found by some people, on institutions level, it is unclear, Al Khazraji said. Any improvement on the Emiratisation front could at best be seen as attempts to "throw dust in the eyes", he said.

Localisation of jobs was too fragmented and sporadic a process to bear an impact, he said. “Problems with the Emiratisation drive and the fall in the number of nationals in government departments is no longer confined to the private sector but has also started creeping into the Federal Government sector."

On the reasons for the negative picture, he said, was retirement at an early age, which many nationals had resorted to over the previous two years. A great number of UAE citizens had quit government posts and opted to start business after availing bank loans, he observed.

Citizens who abandoned their government jobs did not avail the opportunity to make a good living out of the jobs they had got and had failed to live up to the aspirations and dreams of retired incumbents, Al Khazraji lamented and called on the youth of the country not to turn their backs on jobs in the private, federal or local sectors.

The continuation of the nation's youth in their jobs would enable the government to benefit from their faculties, especially the more qualified among of the lot, he said.

Those leaving their jobs in government departments had scant idea of the consequences, he said, calling on the government sector to expand the number of watchdog bodies to assess the condition of UAE nationals in government departments and to suggest measures to upgrade the standard of their performance and help them continue in their jobs.

The findings of the study conducted by Tanmia in a number of Federal Ministeries showed that the employment and human resources departments were not playing their roles to perfection, said Dr Khazraji and slammed the ‘Cadre 1 to 10’ formula as an upside-down solution.

“What compounded the problem of localization in different sectors is the rise in the foreign workforce which has come to substantially outnumber the nationals, so much so that there's just one national for every 10 expatriate employees in the country’s labour market.

It would be in the fitness of things if the ratio was inverted the other way round, with 10 nationals for every single expatriate, Dr Khazraji said.

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