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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 25 June 2018

Emirati job seekers held back by 'high expectations' and 'lack of specialisms', recruiters say

RAK careers fair participants offered advice to unemployed Emiratis on how to get ahead in competitive market 

The 10th edition of RAK education, training and employment exhibition on Tuesday, April 17th, at RAK Exhibition Center. Chris Whiteoak / The National
The 10th edition of RAK education, training and employment exhibition on Tuesday, April 17th, at RAK Exhibition Center. Chris Whiteoak / The National

A lack of university specialties and high expectations are holding back Emiratis from many job opportunities, recruiters say.

We need more engineers, IT graduates and technicians in many fields to fill many positions in various governmental entities in the Emirate,” said Noura Al Shahhi, deputy manager of Ras Al Khaimah Human Resources Department, at RAK Job Fair on Tuesday.

“We are offering more than 70 positions but we actually have way more opportunities than that. We can’t find Emiratis with many specialties and therefore we are forced to recruit people from different nationalities,” she said.

Ms Al Shahhi said that job seekers without a bachelor’s degree should work on developing their skills through training opportunities and specialized courses.

“Every job seeker should work on improving his or her skills, specially people with a high school degree, in order to be qualified for a position. We offer training and volunteering work that will help them improve their skills."

“Technology and computers are taking over a lot of jobs, therefore job seekers need to improve their [IT] skills and obtain new ones to be more qualified,” said Ms Al Shahhi.

Sultan Al Ali, Head of Emiratisation at RAK Bank, said high expectations can prevent many Emiratis from having a job.

“Many fresh graduates are looking for managerial-level positions and high salaries which can’t be achieved without previous experience,” said Mr Al Ali.

“They should change the way they think and start step-by-step. There are a lot of opportunities out there and I encourage job seekers to seize them and with hard work they will reach what they want.”

One job seeker said the salary of an entry-level job will not cover her expenses.

“I can’t take a job with Dh4,000 a month and work long hours with different shifts each day,” said Ahlam Al Zaabi, who has been looking for a suitable job since 2015.

“I graduated with a business degree and got a three-month training certificate in marketing, taking a job as in data entry will not be suitable for me due to the position and the low salary,” she said.

“I need to work with my degree and I will keep applying to get the position I want."

Another Emirati said that he will try until next year and if by then he has not found the position he is looking for he will start looking at other options.

“I graduated last year with a mechanical engineering degree and I want to work in the same field. The position I’m looking for is an assistant engineer or something above that with a good salary not less than Dh19,000,” said Ahmed Al Mansoori, 23.

“If I don’t find what I’m looking for then I will consider something else but I will give it a year and keep searching and applying.”

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Read more:

Unemployment levels due to 'nepotism' and 'lack of opportunities', say Emiratis

Sheikh Abdullah tells UAE youth to think beyond ‘comfortable’ jobs

Emirati jobseekers show growing interest in private sector, say recruiters

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This year is the 10th time the fair has run and it has for the first time offered the opportunity to apply for jobs to non-Emiratis, with organisers dedicating the last day of the fair to them. The fair also offered around 3,000 job seekers the chance to open their own business by selling products online through an online platform organised by The World Youth Business Club.

“It’s a platform that will allow unemployed people to start their own business and make money through selling products directly from manufactories located in China,” said Khalid Al Baloushi, manager of the onlinechinamall.com.

“Emiratis who register with us during the job fair will get an account and can start trading. The website will offer a wide range of products from electronic gadgets to furniture and clothes, and they can start ordering and selling directly without paying any fees."

The jobs fair will ran at the RAK Exhibition Centre April 17-19.