ABU DHABI //Almost 4,000 private-sector jobs will be created for Emiratis under a Government agreement that aims to place 20,000 UAE nationals in careers over the next five years.
The jobs boost is the second phase of the Absher Initiative, which was launched last year by the President, Sheikh Khalifa, to strengthen Emiratisation in the private sector.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, spoke of the importance of the initiative as the agreement to secure jobs for 3,768 Emiratis was signed on Tuesday.
"Ours sons are the backbone of this state," Sheikh Mohammed said. "Our role is to empower them to be producers and to serve their state.
"Emiratis, not oil, are the foundations and the pillars and the real wealth of the nation. We are investing in them."
The Absher Initiative is based on four main pillars. They are job creation, educating and retraining the Emirati workforce, encouraging nationals to join the private sector, and launching partnerships with the private sector and Government agencies.
Sheikh Mohammed spoke of the importance of jobs in the private sector, as opportunities in the public sector are diminishing as it reaches saturation point.
Emiratis account for only about 20,000 of the four million workers in the private sector but Absher aims to improve this.
"The search for ways to find jobs for Emiratis, not only in the Government sector, but also in the private sector, will continue," said Sheikh Mohammed.
"The Government sector is limited in terms of employment, while the private sector in the UAE is a major partner and a pillar in the process as it is capable of accommodating more human resources."
He called on all organisations and companies to take part in advancing Emiratisation.
"With your cooperation as businessmen and officials, this process goes on," Sheikh Mohammed said. "These are our sons. We are entrusted with taking care of their security, life and stability."
Sheikh Mohammed witnessed the signing of agreements between the Ministry of Presidential Affairs, which oversees the implementation of the initiative, and 16 companies and establishments that have recently pledged their support.
He met representatives of new stakeholders and semi-Government entities such as Etihad Airways and Abu Dhabi National Insurance Company, and private companies.
Sheikh Mohammed thanked them all for their support in creating quality jobs for the Emirati youth.
"Development initiatives launched by Sheikh Khalifa, including Absher, reflects the keenness of the wise leadership to enhance development plans in all social and economic sectors in line with the a comprehensive and integrated strategic vision," the Crown Prince added.
Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, also attended the signing and hailed Sheikh Mohammed's patronage of the second phase of Absher, to empower Emiratis in the job market.
The announcement comes after Sheikh Mohammed announced in December last year that Emiratisation would become a national priority this year.
Those signing agreements with the Ministry of Presidential Affairs were: Mubadala Development; Higher Colleges of Technology; Al Ghurair Group; United Al Saqer Group; Julphar Gulf Pharmaceutical Industries; UAE University; Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank; Ducab; Sharaf Group; Falcon City of Wonders; Hemaya Security Service; Eisa Al Gurg Group; Bu Khater Group; Noor Investment; International Petroleum Investment Company; and Khansaheb Civil Engineering.