UAE: Training, creating right environment for Emiratis responsibility of private firms, says official

Companies in UAE with 50 skilled employees have to raise the percentage of the Emirati workforce by two per cent every year, reaching at least 10 per cent by 2026

by

Waheed Abbas

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Published: Mon 13 May 2024, 1:20 PM

Last updated: Mon 13 May 2024, 5:50 PM

Training and creating the right environment for Emiratis is the responsibility of the private sector companies, a senior official said on Monday.

“It is the employer’s responsibility to train the Emiratis. It is part of a partnership between the government and private sector. We have invested in learning, education, regulations and subsidisation of Emiratis. There are things that the private sector has to take part in to achieve the Emiratisation target, which is manageable,” Ahmad Yousuf Al Nasser, assistant undersecretary of National Human Resources Development at the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE), told Khaleej Times in an interview on Monday.


Al Nasser was speaking at the launch of ‘Making Emiratisation a Success Guide for 2024’ by MoHRE and staffing and HR solutions firm TASC.

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All companies in UAE with 50 skilled employees are required to increase the percentage of the Emirati workforce by two per cent on an annual basis, reaching at least 10 per cent by 2026.

Companies are also required to achieve one per cent Emiratisation after every 6 months.

“We acknowledge that some companies face challenges in meeting their Emiratisation targets as training and retaining top talent requires a strategic plan and consistent efforts. However, the government remains firmly committed to supporting the private sector. Emiratisation is not just a government initiative, it is a national obligation and a shared responsibility for all,” he said during the launch of the report.

Create right environment

Al Nasser said some of the challenges that were shared by firms with MoHRE was that Emirati graduate did not match the job requirements or labour market needs. “We keep saying that it is the private sector’s role to nurture the Emirati from the early days once they join the firm. It is the private sector’s role to participate in this initiative, the same way they do it for non-Emiratis. Give them some time to enhance and develop their skills. That is what we always keep asking Emiratis as well.”

He said the right environment plays a vital role for any employees including Emiratis to flourish.

“So we count much on each company to build internal policy, procedure, environment, career pathing, job opportunities, job flexibility, attraction, activities. They are the responsibilities of a company. We are leaving this for the private sector firms to build their internal environment. The better internal environment policies and procedures are, the better place for any employee to remain in that.”

Healthcare, education priorities

Al Nasser said Emiratis are joining different sectors and doing fairly well.

“There are plenty of talented Emiratis. Finance is the top sector that is absorbing Emiratis, but now construction and retail are also absorbing them in a large number. We are focusing on education and healthcare as those two sectors are considered priorities for the government.”

He added that meeting targets for firms is not a challenge.

“At the end, we are requesting just two per cent of the skilled labour. This is nothing compared to other competitor markets. They force occupation for certain jobs. We are just asking 2 per cent of skilled labour which turns 1 or 2 people at the end which is fair and promising enough to be part of your organisation,” he added.

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