Higher education must work with private sector to increase Emiratisation in UAE

More than 160 officials and experts meet on first day of Emiratisation Forum.

Dr Ahmed Al Hashimi, project manager for Abu Dhabi Systems and Information Centre, tells of the centre’s plans to expand its operations at the first day of the fifth Emiratisation Forum yesterday. Sammy Dallal / The National
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ABU DHABI // The higher education system has a crucial role to play in Emiratisation, preparing nationals to hold their own in an increasingly competitive labour market.

That was one of the messages from the opening day of the fifth annual Emiratisation Forum on Monday.

“We are here today to support Emiratisation and fulfil visions of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, marking this year as the year of Emiratisation,” said Essam Al Sayed, corporate communications director at Abu Dhabi Tawteen Council.

More than 160 leaders from Abu Dhabi government bodies and human resources experts are attending the two-day forum, organised by Abu Dhabi University’s Knowledge Group, in partnership with ADTC.

“UAE nationals should be very much engaged in public and private sectors,” said Mr Al Sayed, explaining it would require a collective effort, including higher education and employers.

One of the government bodies at the forum, Abu Dhabi Systems and Information Centre, operates jobs.abudhabi.ae, a website with a focus on Emiratis.

It has provided jobs for 20,000 people, 40 per cent of whom are Emirati, between its launch in October 2008 and January this year.

“Adsic diligently works to develop and improve the initiatives of transforming government services to bring about a modern, efficient government that provides services to its constituents, which match the best e-platforms worldwide,” said Dr Ahmed Al Hashimi, project manager at the centre.

Adsic said it intended to expand its operations in two weeks to attract more jobseekers through social media and mobile apps, where people can register for job alerts.

He said jobs.abudhabi.ae has attracted 400,000 jobseekers, 82,000 of whom are Emirati, and 870 employers who have created the 20,000 jobs.

Figures for this year are expected by January next year but Dr Al Hashimi said he thought the numbers would be bigger “due to our initiatives, especially Emiratisation with Tawteen integration”.

The jobs.abudhabi.ae portal announced yesterday a new partnership with ADTC, which will allow Emirati jobseekers registered on tawteencouncil.ae to be connected with employers on its pages.

"Adsic has collaborated with ADTC to boost the Emiratisation efforts of the Government," Dr Al Hashimi said.

“The partnership is an extension of our virtual platform that not only helps employers source qualified Emirati candidates, but also serves local talent to apply for positions in the UAE and abroad.”

Etihad Airways was also at the forum and its head of talent development said its Emiratisation programme had passed a major milestone, with 150 Emirati trainees.

The scheme now has 87 cadet pilots, 34 graduate managers and 29 technical engineers. They comprise 125 men and 25 women.

Mansoor Belselah, the head of UAE talent development at Etihad, said the airline had always supported and trained Emiratis.

Mr Belselah said the company’s approach to Emiratisation was to view it as a business priority, with a focus on developing talent to drive success.

Dr Ahmed Badr, chief executive of Abu Dhabi University’s Knowledge Group, said: “This year, the forum derives its importance from the directives of our wise leadership in making 2013 the year of Emiratisation and to combine efforts through launching a range of initiatives and policies that make Emiratisation a national priority.”