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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 25 June 2018

Emirati jobseekers more interested in opportunities than salary and working hours, says labour minister

Those seeking work have 'matured' and don't meet unfavourable stereotypes of the past 

Emiratis speak to recruiters at the Tawdheef jobs fair. Silvia Razgova / The National
Emiratis speak to recruiters at the Tawdheef jobs fair. Silvia Razgova / The National

The attitude of many Emirati jobseekers has "matured" and does not match unfavourable stereotypes of the past, the UAE's labour minister has said.

Many young people seeking work are more interested in good opportunities and having the right skills than simply good pay and short working hours, Nasser Thani Al Hameli, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, said on Monday.

He was speaking at a press conference about a recent three-day career fair organised by the ministry.

At the end of the event, which more than 1,600 people attended, 860 had received job offers from 80 public and private sector companies. He said a further 71 have already signed contracts already.

“Emiratis are becoming more mature in the way they approach job offers and conduct interviews," he said.

"The conversation between interviewees and employers has become more mature, discussing ways to sharpen their skills and the nature of work.

“Employers who interviewed Emiratis were surprised about their attitude toward embracing different kinds of jobs and skills. Employers said that Emirati job applicants were not asking about salaries or working hours. They were more interested in methods to learn about job requirements and get more experience in the field and the mechanism of work."

Earlier this month, the minister, who was newly-appointed in October, unveiled a new drive to push more UAE nationals into the private sector.

He said the government will ask companies to prioritise Emiratis over expats for jobs in about 2,000 companies.

Companies will not be compelled to take UAE nationals on - but give them an interview or opportunity they may not have otherwise been given.

The fair sought to encourage more jobseekers to go into aviation, transportation, telecommunication, technology, and real estate.

“We have attracted young Emirati talents through various channels before the three-day career fair, such as advertisements in newspapers, social media, advertisements in influential personnel accounts. Also, we interviewed employers,” he said.

Part of the push means working with Emiratis who are looking for jobs to make sure they are ready for the workplace.

"More than 633 received training and guidelines about interviews. We made sure that jobseekers were well prepared for interviews following training,” said Mr Al Hameli.

Saif Al Suwaidi, general manager of the Civil Aviation Authority, who was part of the job fair, said that the push to encourage more Emiratis away from government jobs has come a long way.

"I am very proud about the recent results. There are around 200,000 people from various nationalities working in the aviation field in the UAE. In this vital sector, we want to recruit more Emiratis," he said.

There are several upcoming recruitment events, the next one being in Fujairah on February 28.