x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

More Emirati bus drivers needed in Fujairah, say industry leaders

More Emiratis are needed to work as school bus drivers and attendants at the Fujairah branch of a nationwide transport company after Emiratisation levels in the job hit an "all-time low".

More UAE nationals are needed to work as school bus drivers and attendants at the Fujairah branch of a nationwide transport company after Emiratisation levels in the job hit an "all-time low".

Bosses at Emirates Transport (ET), which operates fleets of yellow school buses in all seven emirates, say the company is suffering from a lack of local drivers with no Emirati candidates having applied for the job in more than seven years.

At present only 10 Emiratis work as bus drivers in Fujairah out of 446 staff. Thirteen years ago 60 UAE nationals worked in the job.

Mohammed bin Suheil, head of ET's Fujairah branch, told Al Ittihad, The National's Arabic language sister paper, that long hours are one the factors that has led Emirati drivers to quit over the years, adding that "Emiratisation levels in this job have hit an all-time low."

He called on retired nationals to consider joining ET as drivers and receive "acceptable salaries", plus advantages.

A review of the salary and benefits paid to school bus attendants is also needed in order to attract more Emirati women to the job, said Mr bin Suheil.

Expatriate bus attendants earn Dh1,300 per month with ET. There are currently no Emirati women in the role.

However, the company has no plans to grant bus attendants a pay rise, which makes efforts to Emiratise the job difficult and further justifies the need for a package review to attract more Emirati women, noted Mr bin Suheil.

newsdesk@thenational.ae