Executive summaryThe purpose of this paper is to study Emiratisation and its precursors and analyse how the national policy of UAE impacts private sector establishments' cultures, job specifications and working conditions. This analysis is basically aimed at identifying and prioritising the issues affecting Emiratisation. The paper will also discuss the structural barriers to Emiratisation, which include low standards of education and inferior skills of potential employees, poor English, and distrust by employers in the work-willingness of United Arab Emirates (UAE) nationals. The paper shall also touch upon the reason for why the nationals consider that the private sector offer lesser career prospect and low income as compared to the public sector group.
On the whole, this paper shall present a complete overview. Introduction By definition, Emiratisation is a movement by the government of the United Arab Emirates to proactively employ its citizens in the public and private sectors to reduce its dependence on foreign workers. This drive is for the UAE national employees to enhance their efficiency in order to develop the aptitude to take over key positions in all government entities and departments within Abu Dhabi Emirate and the rest of Emirates.
To fulfil this major role, the government carries out programs of hiring, employment, training, scholarships, study leaves, and succession plan for senior positions in Abu Dhabi Government Departments and the rest of Emirates. With the burgeoning UAE local labour force, Emiratisation is a vital process to ensure a smooth transfer of work power back to the local work force. The process of Emiratisation has been pursued aggressively by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs with success, as we have seen, in sectors such as telecommunications and banking.
In April 1999, an agreement giving priority to graduates of the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) in recruitment for jobs in both the public and private sectors was signed between HCT and the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. However, the Ministry is in favour of simultaneous development of the economy and human resources and is reluctant to alienate the private sector by forcing a quota for employment of nationals. The difficult task ahead is to assist job seekers in finding suitable employment.
In the past, national graduates have shown a reluctance to enter private sector employment. This was borne out by a recent study entitled "Attitudes to the Private Sector" which showed that 96.5 per cent of students at Abu Dhabi Women’s Higher College of Technology wanted to work after graduation, of which 62 per cent favoured the oil sector, a further 48 per cent said they would like to work in the government sector and only a meagre 11.5 per cent opted for the private sector. Most students cited high salaries, greater benefits, job security and shorter working hours as their reasons for preferring the state and semi-state sectors.
The population and labour market imbalance between UAE nationals and non-nationals in the private and public sector organisations is one of the impediments. The paper examines the factors that really hinder the local people to get in to employment. The overflow of massive foreign workers has created social and economic crisis for the UAE labour market (Prasad and Yang 2002). Foreigners constitute 2.4 million (91per cent) in the Emirate labour market, overpoweringly working in the private sector.
UAE nationals, thus, include just nine per cent of UAE nationals employed, of which eight per cent (192,000) is involved in the public sector and just one per cent (70,000) is working in the private sector (Human resource report 2005; Freek2004; Abdelkarim 2001a). During the last ten years, the Emirates’ average yearly employment growth rate is 7.9 per cent, with UAE nationals’ input a little higher at 8.2 per cent. Although, in 2005, UAE nationals’ unemployment rate was 12.6 per cent (35,000), of which 19.8 per cent were females and 8.9 per cent consisted of males and, it is anticipated that the percentage will rise strongly within the next decade if the government did not intervene. (Human resource report, 2005).