SHARJAH // The 14th UAE National Career Exhibition was launched in Sharjah on Wednesday with the aim of boosting the country's Emiratisation programme.
Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed, the Ruler of Sharjah, inaugurated the three-day exhibition, which finishes Friday.
The UAE is investing heavily in education, leadership training and entrepreneurial programmes to prepare more Emiratis to join the workforce. They occupy less than 2 per cent of the country's 2.2 million private-sector jobs.
"The seriousness with which the UAE is going about moulding the next generation is apparent in the robust funds allocated to the education sector in the 2012 federal budget," said Ahmed Mohammed Al Midfa, the chairman of the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry. "It also lays stress on the need to focus on higher education to equip Emirati graduates to take up jobs in the private sector."
He said it was important that Emirati graduates were given guidance on how to gain the right skills for the job market. The UAE has allocated Dh8.2 billion for education, a major chunk of the Dh41.8bn federal budget for 2012.
A total of Dh4.7bn will be used for developmental projects, while Dh3.5bn will be allocated to the development of higher education, scientific research and scholarships for Emiratis, in addition to boosting Emiratisation.
"The unemployment rate among nationals is a concern. The percentage of unemployed Emiratis has been staying in double digits for some time," said Saif Mohammed Al Midfa, the director general of Sharjah Expo Centre.
"Though the renewed thrust on infrastructure projects is opening up enough job opportunities, often there is a mismatch between the demands of jobs and skills of graduates."