x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Nationals' role in the workplace examined

A member of Dubai Municipality has suggested in his doctorate paper ways to increase the number of Emiratis in the workforce.

A member of Dubai Municipality has suggested in his doctorate paper ways to increase the number of Emiratis in the workforce. Jassim Ahmed al Ali, who works at the human resources department of the municipality, recommends his measures in Structural Barriers to Emiratisation: Analysis and Policy Recommendations. Mr al Ali said addressing crucial issues such as remuneration, gender inequality, trust, nepotism, and organisation culture would be main steps to boost emiratisation. He said there was a need to introduce a pay scale better than the current market rates to satisfy UAE nationals.

There is also a need to introduce programmes that propel UAE nationals as the employers' first choice, he added. "As much as 10 per cent of UAE nationals resign their jobs each year due to social and cultural factors because low trust is an impediment to employment for UAE nationals. This is in addition to gender inequality in terms of position and salary. Nepotism, or what is called locally as 'wasta', also prevails in the workforce," he said.

UAE nationals account for less than eight per cent of the country's workforce. Mr al Ali suggested that the figure would reduce to four per cent by 2020, although it was not known how he calculated this figure. Currently, 3.1 million people are employed in the UAE. About 13 per cent of UAE nationals are registered as unemployed, although not all job seekers are registered with Tanmia, The National Human Resource Development & Employment Authority.

The main survey questionnaire was developed and distributed to 1,500 employees in seven private and public sector organisations, said Mr al Ali. The paper earned him a doctorate with distinction from Victoria University in Australia. pmenon@thenational.ae