Addressing HR Forum in Dubai recently, Dr Abdulrahman Al Awar, Director-General, Tanmia, said: "Emiratisation is a challenging process, especially in a country like the UAE because of the cosmopolitan workforce which can make it rather difficult for the UAE nationals to integrate," said Dr Al Awar.
Answering a question on emiratisation in the hospitality industry, Dr Al Awar said: "It is true that there is a general reluctance among UAE nationals to take up jobs in the hotel industry. However, we must note that when emiratisation was launched in the banking sector, many locals had a similar attitude. By the end of 2003, the percentage of nationals working in the banking sector had reached 26 per cent. As most of the national jobseekers are women, they are not usually in favour of taking up jobs in hotels.However, with awareness programmes and special incentive packages, we may see more nationals joining the hospitality industry."
Dr Al Awar introduced the HR professionals to Tanmia's Maharat Training Programme, which aims at enhancing the competencies and skills of UAE national jobseekers in diverse fields, including banking, insurance, sales and marketing. It provides training in different areas such as secretarial and office management, Information Technology and International Computer Driving Licence (ICDL). Tanmia finds placements for the jobseekers and then enrols them in a partner-training institute for customised training.
Answering a question on the salary expectations of UAE nationals, Dr Al Awar said it was a common misconception that the locals were demanding unrealistic salaries.
"Their expectations are dictated by the cost of living and the job market dynamics. The misconception arises because many expatriates accept to work for lower wages for various reasons. Employers should realise this problem and take remedial steps."
Dr Al Awar said Tanmia had built an extensive database of jobseekers and was working closely with the government and private sectors to find jobs for them. In 2003, out of the 6,000 CVs referred to prospective employers, around 900 were successfully placed in different organisations.
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