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Parents keeping young Emiratis unemployed

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Parents keeping young Emiratis unemployed
Abu Dhabi still has the highest number and percentage of unemployment among Emiratis despite the market creating the highest number of jobs every year, the head of the Emirates Nationals Development Programme (ENDP) said noting that in 2013, there were around 10,000 Emirati job-seekers in the Capital.

“It is because of misunderstanding (about) joining the non-traditional sectors. Most of the Abu Dhabi graduates said they prefer to join traditional sectors which include oil and gas, government, Mubadala or (similar) companies,” said Essa Al Mulla, executive director ENDP.

“From our experience working in the Abu Dhabi market, Abu Dhabi graduates are smart students, talented, willing to work and they can get the job.” However, the problem lies in the traditional “mind-set” of the young nationals which was primarily influenced by their parents.

Changing mind-set

“I think what Abu Dhabi needs to do is work on the long-term process of changing the mind-set of the young Emiratis and to work big time with parents. They need to work a lot with the parents in changing their mind-set towards encouraging their children to join the non-traditional sector,” Al Mulla said.

The non-traditional sectors included healthcare, tourism, education, retail and finance.

“From our experience in the past years, Emiratis are not always willing to join the non-traditional sectors because sometimes they (face) obstacles from parents. If parents start thinking seriously of motivating their young Emiratis who are graduating from high school and encourage them to study non-traditional majors, it will help them join the workforce (smoothly).”

Speaking on the sidelines of the Emiratisation Summit at the Tawdheef Recruitment Show on Wednesday, Al Mulla said around 20,000 Emirati graduates enter the labour market every year. Of these, between 3,000 to 5,000 job-seekers register in their database.

In 2005, a number of job-seekers have been unemployed for more than five years due to fewer opportunities in the government sector and for women at that time. This has been reduced to less than six months recently. The ENDP targets this year to place 750 candidates in the private sector companies.

Reach out to parents

Al Mulla said that in addition to working with the private sector in reducing unemployment, ENDP has started last year reaching out to parents.

“We started last year … to talk to parents and the public sharing with them the market changes and encouraging Emiratis to join the non-traditional sectors. We started contacting more than 200 parents talking to them one-on-one. This year, we are planning to contact more than 5,000 parents across the UAE,” he related, noting that collaboration is the key to successful Emiratisation strategy.

“Today, the threat for any country is the high unemployment. You want to have security (then) future planning for the workforce is to reduce unemployment,” he stressed.

Take-up any job

He said Emiratis should be pro-active in seeking employment, especially after graduation.

“Fresh graduates should accept any job at the beginning of their career. This will open doors. If Emiratis have this mind-set, we don’t have a problem. Don’t let salary be the obstacle,” advised Al Mulla.

He said Emiratis who stayed at home for more than a year often forget most of what they studied and refreshing their minds will take six months. But getting a job immediately will top-up their accumulated knowledge with new experience and learning.

Source : KT


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