There are many reasons why Emiratis would prefer a government job over the private sector. Public sector positions generally offer better salaries, longer holidays, more benefits and job security. A new study has confirmed all of this. As The National reported, in her research paper, academic Georgia Daleure surveyed 1,157 Emiratis and found that the majority of them see the public sector more appealing for all these incentives.
These findings are not surprising because the private sector clearly cannot compete with the public sector. There is a huge gap between what the two sectors can offer, which means that private companies will have to aim to raise their standards to narrow the gap. But what is interesting is that the study found that most Emirais also viewed a government job as more patriotic because they believed that working in the public sector contributes to the development of the country more than working in the private sector. While it can be understandable since working in an government office means you’re working directly in shaping and implementing official policies, this belief should be questioned.
In order to encourage more young Emiratis to consider a job in the private sector, we should make them aware that the economy needs a strong and sustainable private sector as much as it needs the public sector. As Sulaf Saleh Al Zubi, chief executive of Injaz UAE, told The National, we need to tell young people that working for the private sector means supporting the country’s vision of positioning the UAE as a leader in economics and business. Young people should also understand that working in the private sector can teach them many skills and expand their career experience.
The ideal solution is to encourage more people to start and build their own private companies. There has been increasing efforts to encourage Emiratis to enter the entrepreneurial world, from the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development to the recently launched Mohammad Bin Rashid Global Centre for Endowment Consultancy and the UAE Youth Council’s endowment fund to support youth projects. SMEs are the backbone of the economy and a great way for Emiratis to engage in the private sector.