Call for special centres to support Emiratis in private sector

Network would focus on staff retention in the private sector, says Emiratisation programme head.

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DUBAI // The head of a government Emiratisation programme has called for the creation of a chain of centres across the country to help and support UAE citizens who have taken jobs in the private sector.

The idea would cut the number of Emiratis who give up their jobs, check that employers' requirements are being met and ensure that the policies being followed are working.

The proposal came from Essa Al Mulla, executive director of the Emirates Nationals Development Programme (ENDP).

The organisation was set up to help private-sector employers hire Emiratis, but at present no one monitors what happens to recruits after they start work. "We don't have any follow-up centres," he said. "We recruit nationals, but we don't have any follow-up system from the Government.

"We need proper follow-up centres all over the UAE that would help Emiratis, employers, parents, colleges and universities.

"We bridge the gap, we get them the job, and the centres' job would be to follow what we are doing, what the employers are doing and also what the candidates are looking for."

He said the most important issue the centres would focus on was staff retention.

"They would make sure that whatever we are doing is not going in the wrong direction. Our main mandate is to reduce unemployment and increase the number of Emiratis who are joining the private sector.

"It could be that a lot of the nationals who are joining the private sector are getting the skills, knowledge and experience that would make them highly attractive to the Government."

At present the vast majority of Emiratis with jobs are employed by the government sector, but Mr Al Mulla would like to see a radical change that would see most future Emirati graduates enter the private sector.

He believes this would boost skills and abilities in government departments.

"My dream is to have something called the 80/20 model, where 80 per cent of Emiratis who graduate from universities, colleges or schools would join the private sector by law, and 20 per cent would join the Government.

"We would have career paths within the private sector for five years. You would join at a very low level but after five years, with very strong follow-up and career guidance, goals and objective achievements and competencies, you will reach a certain level.

"After five years we want these people, if they want, to go to the Government and take with them those private-sector skills and competencies."