Workforce Training Institute in Dubai to educate all expat workers

Author: Kirsty Tuxford | Date: 25 May 2016

Compulsory free courses will help foreign employees avoid exploitation

Foreign workers in Dubai will soon be obliged to attend the Workforce Training Institute to learn about UAE labour law, local culture and social behaviour, and occupational health and safety.
 
The institute offers free programmes in several languages. Four government departments are behind the initiative – Dubai Courts, Dubai Police, the Permanent Committee for Labour Affairs (PCLA), and the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation. They plan to ensure all expatriate workers in Dubai are aware of their rights so they can avoid exploitation.
 
Currently, the training programme is in the first phase of three – training blue-collar workers. Phase two will target those employed in the construction industry, and the final phase, in 2018, will include training for all other foreign workers. Phase three training lasts two days and covers programmes in quality and excellence, as well as crisis and resource management. The institute has not yet clarified if the training applies to all sectors or income brackets.
 
Asif Afzal, cross-cultural training expert at Kwintessential Arabia, said the training programme is a good idea. “It will raise everyone’s awareness to a base level in key topics. But some expats may already have a good understanding of some of these topics. It may be a good idea to offer an additional two topics and attendees can choose what is most relevant to them.
 
“The main thing is that key information is passed on and sources for further information are highlighted to participants,” he added.
 
Organisations’ HR departments will need to find out how many of their employees should attend, and what they will be learning.
 
“HR departments will definitely have a great foundation to work from, having these courses delivered to their employees and can further tailor training needs in-house depending on requirements,” said Afzal.
 
The Workforce Training Institute was established in 2014 by Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the crown prince of Dubai. The four government departments running the initiative will cooperate as 'The Orange Team' to manage the institute.
 
There is a growing push to educate Dubai's expatriate workforce. Recently, the minister of human resources and Emiratisation, Saqr Ghobash, also launched a ‘Know Your Rights’ campaign, which makes expats aware of employment law on arrival in the UAE, by giving access to information kiosks in Dubai airport.