Abu Dhabi

Few Indian amnesty-seekers turn up at job fair in Abu Dhabi

Anjana Sankar /Abu Dhabi
anjana@khaleejtimes.com Filed on September 16, 2018 | Last updated on September 16, 2018 at 10.33 pm
Few Indian amnesty-seekers turn up at job fair in Abu Dhabi

(Ryan Lim/KT)

The job fair was meant only for Indian citizens who are holding a six-month temporary job visa under the amnesty scheme.

As many as 2,000 regular jobseekers, including housewives, engineers, lawyers and scores of visit visa holders, turned up for walk-in interviews on Sunday, exclusively meant for amnesty-seekers.

The Indian Embassy that held the job fair at the India Social and Cultural Centre (ISC) in Abu Dhabi said y less than 20 amnesty-seekers with temporary job visas, attended. "We had personally informed around 90 people about the opportunity. It was surprising that not too many turned up," an embassy official told Khaleej Times.

The job fair, attended by more than 25 companies, was meant only for Indian citizens who are holding a six-month temporary job visa under the amnesty scheme.

But by 9am, hundreds of regular job-seekers thronged the ISC premises to "give it a try". Rekha, a housewife in Abu Dhabi, who is currently on husband's visa, said it was a good opportunity to meet several companies under one roof.

"I have been looking for a job for more than a year now. When I heard about the walk-in interviews, I could not resist, but come."

Shekhar G, who is an engineer with a contracting company, said: "I would like to change my current job, and look for a better pay."

Ramesh Panicker, president of ISC told Khaleej Times, they had to let in people because of the crowd. "We made separate seating arrangements for regular job-seekers. The amnesty-seekers were given first priority, and after that others were allowed to attend too."

Meanwhile, the few amnesty candidates who attended the walk-in interviews said the platform was useful. "I am so glad I landed a job," said Sheikh Firoz, who got recruited as welder.

"The salary is good. They have taken all my documents and will contact me this week itself to sign the contract." Firoz who lost his job a year ago, has applied for a job-seeker's visa and is currently trying to legalise his status.

Javed Hussein from Karnataka said he is also hopeful of finding a job. "I am still fighting a labour case with the my previous company, which owes me Dh46,000 as pending salaries and benefits. I want to stay in the UAE and find a new sponsor. Three companies have taken my CV. I hope something will work out."

The companies that attended the job fair said they were happy with the response.

"We interviewed around 165 people. Out of that 15 were amnesty-seekers. We have shortlisted many, and in the next week, will start hiring the right candidates," said Joel Savio D'Souza, assistant general manager, HR, at EFS Facilities Services.

Another company called Secure Engineers based in Abu Dhabi said they could not recruit a single amnesty-seeker. "We have shortlisted 100 candidates today but not any amnesty-seekers. The list is not final," said John Chacko, acting head of recruitment.



Anjana Sankar

Anjana Sankar is a UAE-based journalist chasing global stories of conflict, migration and human rights. She has reported from the frontlines of the wars in Yemen and Syria and has extensively written on the refugee crisis in Bangladesh, Iraq and Europe. From interviewing Daesh militants to embedding with the UAE army in Yemen, and covering earthquakes, floods, terrorist attacks and elections, she has come out scathe-free from the most dangerous conflict zones of the world. Riding on over 14 years of experience, Anjana currently is an Assistant Editor with Khaleej Times and leads the reporting team. She often speaks about women empowerment on her Facebook page that has 40,000 plus followers.

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