Officials from public, private sector notice positive mindset among Emirati youth
KT Photo by Shihab
Energetic Emirati youth were seen in large numbers, participating at the Ru’ya Careers UAE job fair, looking to get hired not only in the public sector but also aspiring to carve a niche in the private sector.
The three day fair is witnessing participation from over 100 public and private entities with an expansive portfolio of job opportunities.
Private sector companies reiterated their commitment to support the UAE Government’s NAFIS programme. Many industry heads told Khaleej Times that there has been a steady shift in the mindset of young UAE nationals towards the private sector, with many weighing options in non-government sectors.
Majid Al Futtaim is one such entity which has already hired 700 Emiratis in a year as part of the NAFIS programme and is on track to meet their target of hiring 3,000 Emiratis by 2026.
Speaking to Khaleej Times, Ali Al Abdulla, MD of Government Affairs and Corporate Real Estate at Majid Al Futtaim Properties, said: “We are trying to hire at least 100 people for different roles within our organisation. The response from young UAE nationals has been highly impressive.”
He said they seem to be more open to jobs in the private sector. “Mindset is not that easy to change from government sector to private sector for them, especially when they are young. The first preference is obviously the government sector, not just for the money but also better work timings. This is more so among women. We’ve already seen a lot of changes in our organisation, but we need to understand that it won’t happen overnight. A significant shift has happened, but then again this programme is new for everyone, and it needs time.”
Ducab Group – one of the UAE’s end-to-end energy solutions providers and largest manufacturers – has also opened up training opportunities in the industrial sector, with 37 per cent of all positions at the company now being eligible for Emiratisation.
Khaled Nasser Lootah, chairman of Emiratisation Committee at Ducab and Board Member of Ducab Group, said: “We have initiated two programmes… many programmes actually… but these two are the main focus. One is called “Startup” (in English). For this programme, we hire 10 graduates every year and we give them one year to prove themselves. So, they learn and start work immediately. During this one year, they are given the chance to learn, and they are also paid. After one year we evaluate them again. Either they continue, or they decide to leave. This is the third year that we are doing this.”
He said there are many areas where there is a lack of qualified, skilled professionals and companies are doing their best to bridge the gap. “In our case, we give scholarships to help youth pursue these fields. After we found a scarcity of engineers in the market, we made a deal with colleges and universities. We hire high school graduates. We pay them to study and when they finish, they come back to us, and we also train them during the summer.
KT Photo by Shihab
“This way, there is a continuous supply of engineers to meet our needs. Then there is also the challenge to retain them, for which we interact with them closely, understanding their needs and expectations,” adds Lootah.
The Emirates Group is also actively seeking Emiratis to fill an array of positions across various departments after a strong post-pandemic recovery. It is currently offering 500 jobs for UAE Nationals ranging from entry-level to graduate roles.
Emirati high school graduates have the opportunity to apply for national cadet pilot programme, aircraft maintenance engineer license programme, national scholarship programmes, national cabin crew programme and customer service professionals.
Emirati university graduates can apply for the national graduate programme, technology (IT) graduate programme and as senior software engineer.
Concurrently, Dubai Municipality is also introducing courses for in-demand roles. Fatma Sultan Saif Alhamrani AlShamsi, section head, HR Recruitment Section, Dubai Municipality says, “Courses that Dubai Municipality will be launching range across various roles such as 3D printing and blockchain. There is a programme for high school students, guiding them to study different majors, so that they could join Dubai Municipality.”