DUBAI // Young Emiratis need more opportunities for skilled jobs, the Dubai Chief of Police said yesterday at a human resources conference.
In his address to the first International Human Resources Conference and Exhibition, Lt Gen Dahi Khalfan Tamim called for a stipend for unemployed university graduates.
"What prevents us from helping our recent graduates who are looking for a job and do not have the support of their family?" Lt Gen Tamim asked. "A strategic plan needs to be implemented across the UAE to reduce the percentage of unemployment to the lowest amount possible."
In a speech that highlighted 16 challenges, along with recommendations, Lt Gen Tamim told the audience he had met highly educated Emiratis who are unable to find jobs despite their qualifications.
"The UAE labour market still remains inaccessible to UAE nationals, even though many of them now have qualifications from reputed foreign universities," he said.
He acknowledged there were other factors that came into play, such as the global economic crisis, but stressed that the UAE must do more to provide young Emiratis with chances to thrive.
Lt Gen Tamim highlighted the case of the Tunisian man who burnt himself to death in protest of the social conditions in his country as an example of how serious unemployment and poverty are.
Among the stories that the police chief recounted was that of a young Emirati man who applied for a job at a national company, but was told that he only had a high school certificate.
"The man was spurred into action and reapplied to the same company after obtaining a master's degree in industrial engineering, but was told that he was overqualified," he said.
Lt Gen Tamim appealed to organisations not to place unnecessary obstacles in the path of young people, and to provide them with opportunities to gain experience.
"Previous statistics by the Ministry of Economy state that the number of unemployed Emiratis is 43,000... I hope that in the future we can see that figure drop significantly," he said.
The conference, organised by the Federal Authority of Government Human Resources, aims to address issues such as strategic management of knowledge and talent.
"The strategic plan of the Federal Government for 2011 to 2013 has emphasised the need to enhance the role of human resources through four key pillars," said Humaid Mohammad al Qutami, the Minister of Education and Chairman of the Human Resources Authority. "They are to establish a comprehensive strategy for human resources in the UAE, put an effective planning system for human resources, preserve qualified human power, and enhance the ability and skills of employees."
Peter Cappelli, who is the George W Taylor professor of management and the director of the Centre of Human Resources at the University of Pennsylvania's prestigious Wharton School of business in the US, discussed the rewards of investing in human capital across the world. He explained that the best-performing employees are at least five times more useful across industry and governments.
"Here, if you want good jobs for Emiratis going forward, you don't want them simply to be quotas in the international companies that are headquartered here and moving here, you want them to have good jobs, and that is all about education, all about training," he said.