Emiratis “most likely to work in admin roles”

Author: Kirsty Tuxford | Date: 22 Dec 2015

More leadership training is needed for local nationals, says Oxford Strategic Council

Emirati nationals are more likely to work in administrative roles than any other function, according to a new report from Oxford Strategic Consulting that raises profound questions about the speed of Emiratisation in the UAE workforce.
The Emirati Employment Report 2015 found that half of those questioned stated their job was administrative, with engineering making up a further 18 per cent; accountancy 18 per cent; and banking and finance 13 per cent.
An equal number of males and females were working in administrative jobs, but females were significantly more likely than males to consider banking and finance or teaching as their ideal role. Emirati males were more likely to prefer engineering or accountancy.
The survey indicates that the employment ambitions of UAE nationals could be improved. Oxford Strategic Consulting believes Emiratis can and should aim further up the organisational tree than an admin role, and that approximately 60 per cent of nationals need to be groomed as leaders if they are to help diversify the economy.
The report also identifies potential UAE business leaders and entrepreneurs. Emiratis aged over 30 were significantly more likely than those aged under 30 to consider leader of an organisation as their ideal role (15 per cent versus eight per cent) or to prefer running their own business (13 per cent versus 8 per cent) – making this age group a prime target for leadership development and entrepreneurial assistance.
Many administrative roles, including those in management and HR, are not adequately professionalised. Oxford recommends that Emirati nationals in administration be trained, qualified and accredited from top awarding bodies, such as the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and CIPD.
“Administration, management and leadership roles have traditionally not been considered suitable for professional qualification, but recent advances in assessment, especially of relevant experience, have allowed global standards to be developed and implemented by bodies such as the Chartered Management Institute,” said David Burton, Qatar CEO of Oxford Strategic Consulting.
The study also highlighted that stereotypes about females preferring administrative roles may not be as salient in the UAE as in other countries.