The UAE has teamed up with a global healthcare company to introduce a 12-month training programme for Emirati graduates as part of a major drive to increase the number of citizens working in the private sector.
The Ministry of Health and Prevention will work with Switzerland-based Novartis to pave the way for more Emiratis to secure employment in the industry.
Under the partnership, citizens with pharmacy degrees will receive a monthly stipend from the company and have the opportunity to apply for full-time positions or join other international pharmaceutical companies operating in the country.
It was not revealed when the training programme would begin.
The UAE set out plans in September last year to ensure citizens comprise at least 10 per cent of the private sector workforce within the next five years.
A series of initiatives were launched to increase the number of Emirati workers in the private sector by 75,000, by 2026, as part of the Nafis programme.
These included paid training programmes, subsidies for Emiratis working in the private sector and support for entrepreneurs looking to leave the public sector and start up their own companies.
Dr Amin Al Amiri, undersecretary for the health regulation sector, and Mohamed Ezz Eldin, president and head of the Gulf cluster at Novartis, signed the agreement in the presence of Dr Mohammad Salim Al Olama, undersecretary of the Ministry of Health and Prevention.
“We are committed to developing and qualifying national cadres in the medical and pharmaceutical fields," said Dr Al Olama.
He said the ministry was "encouraging major medical companies to attract and invest in national talents of pharmacy graduates" and to provide opportunities "for them to explore job opportunities and gain qualitative expertise and skills".
Dr Al Amiri said the programme will deliver crucial support to graduates and provide a launch pad for careers in the private healthcare sector.
UAE steps up Emiratisation campaign
This means that companies that go above and beyond what is legally required will pay only Dh250 for certain permits rather than Dh3,750.
The move comes as part of a new private sector company classification system that is being introduced by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation.