x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Ministers face questions over Emirati unemployment

The Minister of Education, Humaid Al Qattami and the Minister of Labour, Saqr Ghobash, will both take questions from council members about what plans they have to increase jobs for Emiratis.

Humaid Al Qattami, the Minister of Education, will face questions about his plans to boost Emirati employment prospects.
Humaid Al Qattami, the Minister of Education, will face questions about his plans to boost Emirati employment prospects.

ABU DHABI // Emirati employment levels will be the topic of debate at today's Federal National Council session.

The Minister of Education, Humaid Al Qattami and the Minister of Labour, Saqr Ghobash, will both take questions from council members about what plans they have to increase jobs for Emiratis.

Unemployment among nationals reached 15 per cent last year, according to the FNC member Musabah Al Ketbi (Sharjah), and the figure is expected to increase if no solutions are found.

Mr Al Ketbi said he plans to ask Mr Al Qattami, who is also chairman of the board of directors of the Federal Authority for Government Human Resources, what supervision has been placed over career fairs to ensure they are of service to Emirati jobseekers and not just marketing events.

"They are completely for advertising purposes, even though we spend about Dh100 million on them," he said. "This makes it important to put requirements in place to regulate work in these exhibitions."

Ali Al Nuaimi (Ajman) said he would ask Mr Ghobash what labour ministry has done to increase employment among nationals.

"If you open the [ministry's] websites, there are eight objectives. One is to support and encourage Emiratis to obtain jobs, so we want to know what projects the Ministry of Labour have taken on to accomplish this goal," he said.

Among other ministers scheduled to respond to questions are Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak, the Minister of Higher Education, on the subject of accrediting degrees for Emiratis studying abroad, and Obaid Al Tayer, the Minister of State for Financial Affairs, on the topic of increasing pensions for retired Emirates Post employees.

"We want Emiratis enrolled in higher education in Egypt, Bahrain, Jordan, Lebanon, and other countries suffering from political instability to be exempted from the current requirement that they be in those countries for 30 per cent of the year to have their certificates accredited in the UAE," Mr Al Ketbi said, adding that many student were suffering as a result of this requirement.

Mohammed Al Gergawi, Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs, will also be asked by Ahmed Al Shamsi (Ajman) about the possibility forming a federal authority to monitor medications and food.

The session will be open to the public from 9am.

The final FNC session until October will be held next Tuesday.

osalem@thenational.ae