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KT edit: Emiratisation aims to increase competitiveness

The UAE today is among the league of nations with the highest concentration of foreign campuses.

Published: Sun 29 Sep 2019, 8:00 PM

Last updated: Sun 29 Sep 2019, 10:09 PM

Human capital forms the basis of a knowledge economy, and development of Emiratis is at the heart of all plans adopted by the UAE leadership. It was with this thought that the Emiratisation programme was launched in 1980. The federal government had created a special department in the Ministry of Human Resource and Emiratisation to find job opportunities for UAE nationals. The system was further refined in the subsequent years. In 2005, quotas and incentives were introduced for the private sector to attract more nationals, and leadership programmes were launched. And now with the setting up of a Dh300 million fund to train 18,000 graduates and equip them with necessary skills and training, the country is taking its efforts a notch higher.
The latest plan is a natural progression as the UAE lays a strong foundation for the knowledge economy. Significant investments have already been made in the education sector. The UAE today is among the league of nations with the highest concentration of foreign campuses, giving an opportunity to the local population to learn from the best. The sector has helped develop close links between science and technology, helped place greater importance on innovation for economic growth and competitiveness, and increased significance of education.
Equipping the local population with the expertise and special training will ensure success of the Emiratisation drive. However, constant evaluation is the key. In 2017, a survey by the Knowledge Group shed light on some of the biggest challenges to Emiratisation. Retention of the locals was a concern in the private sector. That might not be the case now, but it surely suggests the need for annual assessments of the private sector. Latest measures of equal pensions and benefits to citizens in both government and private sectors is surely a big boost.
An annual index to measure employment of Emiratis and provide incentives to corporations and CEOs who support government directives will also help. Emiratisation is an earnest effort by the government that aims to put its people above all and believes in honing their skills. It is not about competition with expatriates for jobs, but nurturing talent and increasing competitiveness in the private space. Success of Emiratis will provide a strong foundation to the UAE, and the latest move is just another measure to change the mindset and make Emiratisation a success.

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