The government of the United Arab Emirates introduced Emiratisation to increase the population and the educational level of the Emirian people in the private and public sectors. While the program has improved the employment rate of the locals in the public sector, it has failed to cause positive changes in the private sector. This paper provides an overview of the best solutions the government can implement to support the program and transform the entire economy. The paper provides an overview of how the government should train UAE young professionals, draft new employment policies, introduce resourceful quotas and labor regulations, and remove social-cultural obstacles to achieve the set objectives. The adoption and implementation of policies that take care of these labor needs would support Emiratisation and make the program highly efficient.
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The Best Solutions the Government Can Implement to Support Emiratisation
Emiratisation is a program that the government of the United Arab Emirates is implementing with the objective of increasing the presence and level of expertise of the Emirian people in the private and public sectors. While there is consensus that the initiative can improve the country socially, economically, and politically, there is no explicit indication that it can increase the population of the Emirian people in the private sector. However, economists have noted the success of the program in the public sector. Nonetheless, they have recommended the adoption of drastic measures to enhance change in the private sector. Economists have warned that Emiratisation might degrade the performance of firms operating in the country, and the government should use a better strategy (Nelson, 2006). The government needs to train the young professionals using advanced methodologies, develop relevant labor policies, provide the youths with jobs that match their experience and skills, introduce valuable quotas, and remove a social-cultural obstacle to support the Emiratisation initiative effectively.
The government of the United Arab Emirates is facing an acute shortage of local talents and skilled employees. Most young professionals in the country lack the required skills to support and contribute to the development of the economy. The government should train and employ youths. Apparently, the government has trained many of the young people but failed to give them jobs. According to Al Ameri (2011), despite the training, the employment rate has remained far below average. Currently, approximately five percent of the Emirian people make up the population of workers in the private sector (Al Maskari, 2013).
The government should adopt a training strategy that will enable the youths to take up most of the jobs that the expatriates do. Notably, training of the young professions cannot solve the unemployment issue unless expatriates are willing to give way to the young qualified Emiratis to occupy their positions. Al Ameri (2011) supports the proposition that local professionals need to take up the roles of the expatriates. The author claims that qualified Emirian people deserve to take up the jobs (Al Ameri, 2011). Equipping young people with the skills to perform technical tasks and train their fellows without giving them the opportunity to put the skills into practice is a major cause of frustrations. The government should create new job vacancies and fill the positions that the expatriates hold. Allowing the youths to replace their trainers will motivate and create self-efficacy in them.
Despite the feeling that retaining the expatriates is unproductive economically, some experts think that the government should retain experienced expatriate trainers. They argue that the expatriates are assets for developing young professionals. Since experts agree that an effective training model should help reduce unemployment, its failure to increase the number of Emiratis in the private sector from five percent to a higher rate means the training model requires re-evaluation (Aldhaheri and AlNehayan, 2010). Therefore, the government should enhance the training model to empower the youth and create more job opportunities.
The UAE government should also develop policies that ensure the unemployed would get jobs that match their qualifications and skills. According to Morada (2002), creating policies that encourage semi-skilled UAE job seekers to take up jobs that match their abilities should motivate them to work hard. As a result, it will help increase the presence of the Emirian people in the job market. High turnover rate due to low remuneration is a common experience in the United Arab Emirates. Low wages and salaries are the main cause of this problem. The government should set a high minimum wage and ensure that employers abide by the policy (Khondker, 2009).
Introducing effectual quotas is another way of supporting Emiratisation. The government imposed a quota in 2005 that has enabled many organizations to implement the program. The 2005 policy requires companies operating in commercial and trade activities with more than fifty employees to uphold an annual two percent Emiratisation quota.
The problem with the policy is that it has no mechanism that makes it effectively enforceable, and it has failed to reduce the turnover rate in the United Arab Emirates. According to Al Maskari (2013), the UAE depends on a foreign workforce to achieve its economic objectives as nationals and local organizations have not demanded to reserve jobs for them for exceptionally competitive packages. The people lack motivation and want to get pay packages that the UAE economy cannot support. Some international organizations try to implement Emiratisation policies more than most local organizations do (Khondker, 2009).
The imposed quota is inconsistent. According to Arnold (2013), the quota has created hindrances and given certain companies undue advantage over the others. Some companies that are in the process of implementing the policy say that the quota has hindered them from meeting both the internal and the external targets. Axa is one of such companies that has raised concerns about the rationality of introducing a discriminatory system (Nelson and Yang, 2005). Drafting and implementing better policies can help increase the participation of locals in the development of the economy.
Besides, the government should reduce tensions that arise at the workplace due to disparities in the level of competencies. Many employed Emirian people perform jobs that do not match their skills, thus such a situation leads to tensions (Nelson, 2006). The government should, therefore, encourage companies to train their employees.
Social and cultural obstacles also hinder self-development, and the government should develop effective strategies for reducing the gap between cultural norms and communication. Experts hold that the United Arab Emirates should embrace team coaching motivational strategy. The strategy would inspire the Emirian people to support Emiratisation and improve their economy (Sabry, 2013).
Another essential solution to the problem of social and cultural obstacles is developing a national framework of skills embodied in the education curriculum. Education is an effective way of inculcating positive culture in young people. The government should use it to enlighten school going children on the benefits of the Emiratisation program. When children understand the impact of the program on the economy, they will develop a patriotic culture and support the government’s initiative.
In conclusion, the best solutions for supporting Emiratisation are programs that can improve the presence and level of expertise of the Emirian people in the public and private sectors. Therefore, the government should efficiently train UAE young professionals, create more job opportunities, adopt policies that encourage the locals to embrace the program, and eradicate social-cultural obstacles. The citizens need to acquire a culture that promotes patriotism and hard work. Sometimes, the best legislation cannot help society if the citizens do not embrace a positive culture.
Aldhaheri, M., & AlNehayan, M. (2010). The challenges stemming from demographic and technology issues within the United Arab Emirates. Monterey, California: Naval Postgraduate School.
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Al Maskari, S. (2013, November 29). The practical side of Emiratisation. Gulf News. Web.
Arnold, T. (2013, May 20). Year of Emiratisation: Low private sector pay and long hours remain obstacle. The National. Web.
Khondker, H. H. (2009). Social change in the United Arab Emirates challenges of migration and “emiratisation”. Singapore: Middle East Institute.
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Sabry, S. (2013). The fifth Emiratisation forum kicks off in Abu Dhabi. Gulf News. Web.