UAE government to give students vocational training for private sector work

Author: Kirsty Tuxford | Date: 8 Feb 2017

Initiative will include part-time and voluntary work involving practical skills as well as mentoring

Vocational training is to be given to students in the UAE to help better prepare them for finding work in the private sector.
 
An agreement signed at the end of January between the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation and a range of national organisations will aim to get students into part-time and voluntary work. It will also teach them skills that are directly relevant to the working environment where they will eventually be searching for jobs.
 
“Although academic education is critical for the young generation to build a strong foundation for their future, most of the academic education in our region is still based on theoretical concepts and is somewhat disconnected from what is yet to come,” said Elie Georgiou-Botaris, Middle East practice leader at Willis Towers Watson.
 
“We live in a world that is characterised by uncertainty and rapid change, so education needs to be complimented by practical training in order to become truly effective and immediately transferable to the workplace, to help students cope with uncertainties and ongoing changes.”
 
However, training without guidance could be wasted, said Georgiou-Botaris. “While pursuing their education, students need to get close career guidance with regard to what they want to do on their graduation. They need to be tested to identify their strengths and weaknesses, be it personality-based or skill or competency-driven.
 
Georgiou-Botaris believes that once the gaps in skills or knowledge are identified, students need to be provided with focused training sessions and be assigned a career mentor or guide within their school or university. That mentor would continue to oversee their developmental progress and provide them with the necessary guidance and encouragement.
 
In a separate initiative, the Dubai College of Tourism has launched a vocational programme to train Emirati youth to work in the tourism and hospitality sector. The programme received 600 applications on the first Career Day from UAE nationals. Tasked with attracting, training and hiring 500 Emiratis, this ‘Industry Nationalisation Initiative’ targets groups including high school graduates and university students, as well as jobseekers in the UAE, and provides students with the opportunity to immerse themselves in a real-life working environment as part of the course.
 
Helal Saeed Almarri, director general for the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism), said: “We are committed to nurturing the next generation of UAE nationals. This latest endeavour by the Dubai College of Tourism enables us to not only coach those with potential, but also create more opportunities for qualified Emirati nationals in the tourism industry. In line with Dubai Tourism’s plan to attract 20 million visitors by 2020, there is an even greater demand for talented Emirati youth, and we aim to use this initiative as a platform to build future leaders, adding to the sustainability and growth of our industry.”