UAE private sector needs to get hiring right

UAE private sector needs to get hiring right

Winning government contracts and not doing anything to recruit nationals is unacceptable

Ahmed Al Zarouni, Special to Gulf News

Billions of dirhams worth of projects are channelled by the government to large private companies each year, whether related to infrastructure needs or to do with technology investments. These private companies have hundreds, even thousands, of employees, but it is strange that you do not see a single UAE national in the organisation.

And these companies do not have a programme of care and development for new national graduates despite receiving such heavy government contracts. Every year, hundreds of Emirati citizens who are qualified in the technical and professional fields graduate. And their appointments – even in the marketing of technical products, supporting customers, as well as the management of governmental and semi-governmental auditing – is beneficial for their employers.

These are also functions that do not need a unique specialization, and even when it comes more rarefied specializations, there are some extremely competent people in my country.

Things need changing

These private institutions have the right to recruit whom they see appropriate, but the fact that there are no UAE nationals in a reputable company whose government contracts are worth millions is a matter that needs to change. Many of my compatriots are highly qualified and reliable on various aspects, and we have reached the space with their hands and efforts.

There are many flimsy arguments, but the companies that adopted proper recruitment, development, and training of UAE citizens have discovered the extent of the positives by way of support and even preferential treatment from decision-makers. And they have also realized how highly competent these individuals are.

Take that initiative

Directors at technology divisions within organisations must support, encourage, and urge the recruitment of UAE citizens in various functional fields and to cooperate with them in this vital and hugely beneficial space.

It is not a diminution of any nationality, nor an imposition or coercion, but rather a proposal to draw the attention of companies that there are some opportunities and which will have many plus points. And it would be the proper response to the endless and unparalleled support provided by the country.

Major technology companies have started to pay attention to this matter. They are recruiting UAE citizens and raise the rate of Emiratisation, especially in communicating with governmental channels, managing their auditing, as well as for other specializations.

– Ahmed Al Zarouni is a Dubai-based tech specialist.

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