x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

The UAE will provide skills training for job matching and the Philippines will provide services that include pre-departure and post-arrival orientation to facilitate migrant workers' adaptation to foreign employment.

ABU DHABI // Filipino expatriates in the UAE will receive skills training as part of an agreement between the Philippines and the Emirates.

The training will broaden their opportunities while also ensuring they have the skills appropriate for positions their host country needs filled.

For its part, the Philippines will provide its workers with orientation workshops before they leave home and after they arrive in the UAE.

“The UAE has favourably considered the recommendations discussed during the Abu Dhabi Dialogue 2,” said Rosalinda Baldoz, the Philippines labour secretary, who is in the capital for a series of meetings with the ministries of Labour and Foreign Affairs.

“The UAE is also for the mutual skills recognition and certifications of our professionals and skilled workers.”

Ms Baldoz was referring to the framework of regional collaboration that came from the Abu Dhabi Dialogue approved in April last year.

“It is a historic document designed to guide participating countries to undertake concrete actions towards an enhanced contract migration cycle, from pre-deployment to employment to preparation for return, and finally to reintegration,” she said.

“We have agreed in principle to push through with these at a technical level, and as the current chairman, I will write to Abu Dhabi Dialogue members for an update on the progress made and encourage them to submit proposals.”

Manila played host to Abu Dhabi Dialogue 2 in April last year, when the UAE turned over the chairmanship of the initiative to the Philippines for two years.

Some initiatives adopted by labour-sending and receiving countries included enhancing the skills of workers, improving the recruitment process, ensuring a balance between labour supply and demand, and helping workers adapt to foreign employment.

First held in Abu Dhabi in 2008, the dialogue was a conference to forge greater partnerships between worker destination countries including the UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, and countries of origin, such as India, Nepal and the Philippines.

“Kuwait will be the chairman of Abu Dhabi Dialogue 3 to be held in November 2014,” Ms Baldoz said.

She met the Minister of Labour, Saqr Ghobash, on Monday and said she hoped to “sustain the progress made so far in the proper management of contractual labour mobility”.

“Our meeting was very productive,” Ms Baldoz said.

In May this year, working groups from both countries held talks to refine the provisions of an agreement that lapsed in April last year.

The teams exchanged draft agreements and discussed recruitment and deployment policies.

“The UAE Ministry of Labour said they’re still working on it and that it’s being reviewed by their legal team,” Ms Baldoz said.

The agreement, which aims to prevent contract substitution, will not cover domestic workers such as maids, nannies, gardeners, cooks or family drivers.

Those workers fall under the responsibility of the Ministry of Interior, not the Ministry of Labour.

rruiz@thenational.ae