Universities and private sector working together to boost Emiratisation

Strong collaboration and the establishment of a link between local universities and private companies are needed in order to address certain issues that hinder UAE nationals from working in the private sector.

These recommendations were reached following the presentations made by Fadi Bin Haider Al Attas, Recruitment Manager and Chris Jolliffe, Assessment Manager of Summit Career Management Services, a private Careers Guidance and Placement Service provider, at a practical workshop conducted in conjunction with the Emiratisation Forum held at the Fairmont’s Bab Al Bahar hotel in Abu Dhabi.

Organised by Abu Dhabi University (ADU) and hosted by Aim Events - the conference and events division of ADU - the workshop entitled ‘Discovering Emirati Talent’ has identified a lack of awareness on different opportunities within the private sector as well as stereotyping of UAE nationals by private companies as issues that hamper Emiratisation.

“Emirati job seekers have no idea about the vast careers that await them in private organisations,” said Al Attas. “In the same way, employers should stop stereotyping and change their mindset about UAE nationals.

“We need to educate employers and keep them informed about what Emiratis can contribute in these companies,” he added.

Delegates at the workshop came up with different approaches to tackle the issues raised, and amongst them were determining what career Emirati students want to pursue in the future, customising school curriculums to include programmes from private companies, and promoting career guidance within the high school level.

Workshop participants also highlighted the need for the private sector to start believing in the capabilities of Emiratis. They mentioned that employers should not make processes difficult when hiring Emiratis, and should actually be allowed to develop themselves within the workplace.
Meanwhile, Dr. Bob Nelson, master motivator and bestselling author, tackled ‘Building a Team Culture’ in a separate workshop. In this workshop, Dr. Nelson focused on recognition as a great tool to retain Emiratis in a workplace as he highlighted the importance of creating a field of engagement and tapping into people’s interests and desires to form a solid foundation within the company.

“We need to find out strengths rather than weaknesses and build on these. We can’t force performance but we can get behind them, encourage them and sustain their talent. We have to make recognition a part of the work culture,” said Dr Nelson.

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