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UAE firms prefer re-skilling staff over hiring international talent: Minister

Waheed Abbas/Dubai
Filed on November 3, 2019 | Last updated on November 3, 2019 at 04.51 pm
jobs in UAE, employment in UAE, Dubai jobs, work in UAE, job interview
Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, UAE’s Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Skills.

(Supplied photo)

Youngsters are advised to remain curious, as it's the main driver for continuous learning.

Companies in the UAE are increasingly retooling and re-skilling their employees rather than hiring international talent purely due to the cost perspective, a UAE minister said on Sunday. (Latest jobs in UAE)

"Companies are realising that actually, purely from cost perspective, it is cheaper to retrain and re-skill own employees than hire next readily available employee. We have seen it in a number of organisations here in the UAE who have put significant investments in retooling and retaining their own employees as opposed to sourcing the best talent," said Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, UAE's Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Skills.

"No matter what we do, it is almost impossible for higher education to have employees ready for everything at job. The hard skills are changing, whether it is 3D printing, quantum mechanics or something else. Our main challenge is developing lifelong learners that have right soft skills and be job ready not just for today but who can retool themselves," the minister said during a panel discussion at the annual meeting of the Global Future Councils.

He advised youngsters to try as much as they can to remain curious because curiosity is the main driver for continuous learning.

"The moment you become less curious, you are not going to continuously train yourself. Secondly, don't look at skilling and re-skilling as a reactive threat but more of a proactive. There is a need for big shift to look at the positive side as opposed to scaring the people. For younger generation, we need to paint a better picture with basic appreciation for curiosity," he added.

Laura Tyson, professor at the University of California, stressed that there will be enough jobs, thanks to technological advancements, but at the same time the sector will see significant disruption.

"New sectors that will arise. There will be occupations that we cannot name now. These disruptions will not come in a few year time but the will take time - we are talking about decades. I worry about middle income jobs and quality of jobs. What we know from technology so far that it has put off many middle income occupations and created high income occupation," she said during the panel discussion.

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