Government's role vital in emiratisation effort

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Staff Report  www.gulfnews.com

Dubai: Dr Jasem Al Ali, a noted emiratisation expert, has said that the government needs to actively collaborate with the private sector to devise ways to employ and retain UAE nationals, in order to rectify the current imbalance in a sector that employs just one per cent Emiratis.

Delivering a guest lecture on “Structural Challenges to Emiratisation” at the University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD), Dr Al Ali, Director of Human Resources at the Department of Economic Development, Dubai, said a quota system was not an effective way to tackle the complex issue, as it could backfire by way of flight of companies to other countries.

Need of the hour

“Stronger government intervention is the need of the hour. The government, universities and private sector companies need to sit together and work out mutually acceptable solutions.

“I strongly support the proposal that requires the government to contribute a share of an Emirati’s salary to meet higher salary expectations, so that the burden on private companies is reduced. Without government intervention, UAE nationals face a serious risk of being squeezed out of the labour market in their own country,” Dr Al Ali said.

Dr Al Ali, whose thesis entitled “Structural Barriers to Emiratisation” won Victoria University’s Excellence in Thesis Quality Award in 2008, said the current scenario was quite bleak for Emiratis as far as employment in private sector was concerned. This was due to a combination of factors, including human, organisational and social barriers.

“The unemployment rate among Emiratis rose to 13.4 per cent in 2009,” he said.

“While the private sector controls 52 per cent of all jobs in the UAE, the Emirati strength in the private sector is just one per cent, except in the banking and insurance sectors.”

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