ABU DHABI // The Tawdheef recruitment show gathered thousands of Emirati graduates yesterday at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre as employers began the hunt for the next generation of local talent.
The three-day event, organised by the Abu Dhabi Tawteen Council, is dedicating its first two days to UAE nationals.
Companies such as Seha, the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority (ADWEA), the Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC) and Mubadala, showcased their programmes and placements for Emiratis yesterday.
Muna Khori, Emiratisation manager at TDIC, said this would be a "pivotal year" for the company's Emiratisation efforts.
"Our strategy is to offer different programmes designed for each stage of the individual's career development path," she said.
"The programmes we have launched to date have already proven to be a great success, and we will therefore be expanding these over the coming year."
TDIC's graduate development programme, which began in November, takes 23 Emirati graduates and places them in different departments, consistent with their degree subject. They can switch departments every four months.
"Out of the 700 employees in the company, 100 are Emiratis," said Noaf Tahlak, marketing manager at TDIC. "We're aiming to double that in 2011."
As well as being paid, the graduates are given training and mentors. TDIC is expecting a new batch of graduates next month.
Du plans to take 100 graduate trainees this year, and is starting its recruitment process in Abu Dhabi.
Jamal Khalifa Lootah, du's senior director of Emirati recruitment and development, said 23 per cent of its workforce was now Emirati, more than half of them in senior management. He called that "a big achievement because we are a young company".
"They are well-trained, experienced and they head our divisions."
Yaser Obaid, vice president of human resources at du, said its 18-month programmes offered a "fast track" to Emirati graduates.
"It's like four years of experience which boosts their [work] level, " added Mr Lootah. "It seems like the market is picking up as there are a lot of UAE graduates around today."
Hamad A, a 23-year-old Emirati postgraduate student in international business at the University of Wollongong in Dubai, will finish university in 2012. He applied to almost 25 companies at the Tawdheef event.
"There are some really interesting administrative positions available with ADWEA," he said. "I came all the way from Dubai because I believe this event will benefit me for the future."