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GN: Private sector jobs offer career growth, say Emiratis

Dubai: A vibrant UAE of the future will depend on private sector jobs, Emirati jobseekers said at Careers UAE 2018 fair on Tuesday.

Ambitious fresh graduates and experienced Emiratis visiting the annual job fair on its first day said the private sector holds more promise for a fulfilling career and contributes to the country’s march to progress. 

Recruiters and hiring managers from across various industries in the private sector have also noticed the willingness of many Emiratis to pursue a career with them, highlighting how career and development programmes have become a magnet for attracting UAE nationals.

The job fair, which enables UAE nationals to come face to face with recruiters and hiring managers from the public and private sectors, was inaugurated on Tuesday by Shaikh Mansour Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Higher Committee for the Protection of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Noora Rashid Al Katbi, 27, was among a handful of Emiratis who shared their thoughts with Gulf News at the three-day fair being organised in the World Trade Centre, and she said landing a job in a private company provides more opportunities.

“I’m currently hunting for a job in the private sector because I have been hearing about the many rewards and benefits offered in certain private companies. The opportunities are bigger and the training and coaching they are offering will benefit me a lot in the long run,” said Al Katbi, who hold a bachelor’s degree in human resources management. “Many of us are now well aware about how working in a private company will boost the country’s economy and we are ready for that,” she said.

Similarly, Badriya Ali, 29, who has always worked in private banks, said working in the private sector helps her acquire wider skill sets.

“I actually always look for career growth. I already have a job but I’m looking for a new challenge within the private sector. When we are diversified and not only working in the government sector this helps our country achieve its various strategies and vision. We also are able to learn more and expand our talents,” she said.

Exposure to diversified cultures and working with people from different backgrounds are also another benefit of working in the private sector, said other jobseekers.

Wassim Darwish, 39, who has worked in a number of banks before, says he is struggling to find a job in the private sector and believes the sector still prefers expats over Emiratis.

“I don’t mind working for a private or public company, but I noticed that some private companies are not giving enough chances to people with experience, and even when they hire UAE nationals, they only hire fresh graduates and give them minimum tasks and performances without targets,” he said.

Alia Bin Aqeel, Mena head of nationalization and employer relations for HSBC, said there has been a clear change in the mindset of UAE nationals who are looking for how the company will train and leverage their skills to move up the ladder within the company.

“In the past, many private sector companies randomly selected UAE nationals and recruited them for sake of ticking boxes, but with the change in mindset now, Emiratis are more keen into getting into learning programmes and have an appetite to travel outside the country for training,” she said.

She added that one of the benefits Emiratis think about when wanting to join private companies is being exposed to external experiences especially from large companies.

Meanwhile, Hind Al Attar, head of Human Resources at Noor Bank, said they currently have a large number of UAE nationals occupying key positions and will continue to attract more at the fair.

“In the last year alone, we added 57 Emiratis into our workforce and are currently seeking Emirati candidates for over 35 positions at Careers UAE. Our vision is to become the world’s best contemporary Sharia-compliant bank.”

She encouraged candidates seeking to pursue a career in banking, particularly those interested in contributing to Dubai’s goal of becoming the capital of Islamic economy, to visit them at the fair.

Alex Kendal, transport HR manager for Serco, a provider of public services and operator of Dubai Metro, said many UAE nationals applying with them have the motivation to learn from the company.

“We take pride that we are the first organisation here that is able to train young Emiratis in a really technical rail environment, which no one has done before. When we first came here, there were no skill sets [in the rail industry] among the population, but since 2009 we have been successful in giving them that knowledge and skills to be able to take over the operations in the future.”

She added that having Emiratis working in the UAE and having the local workforce in the organisation is crucial to build and grow the business.

A wide range of leading corporates across more than 20 industries are participating in the 18th edition.

Held under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the annual event is being organised by the Dubai World Trade Centre in partnership with TANMIA (Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation).

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