Private sector companies can attract more Emiratis by providing clear career paths and a platform to develop their skills, experts have said.

But citizens must also have “reasonable” expectations for starting salaries and have the confidence to cut their teeth in tough roles.

Thousands of young job seekers flocked to the Ru’ya Careers UAE fair at the Dubai World Trade Center last week in the hope of securing employment with more than 100 exhibitors, many in the private sector.

A top recruiter said Emiratis can thrive in private businesses but need to believe in their own abilities.

The idea of ​​Emiratis still looking for jobs in the public sector is changing. I think private is the way to go

Mohammed Al Zarooni, Senior Vice President, Citibank UAE

“Private sector companies can attract young Emiratis by showing them a career path of what they will do in the first five years and what salary they can achieve,” said David Mackenzie, Group Managing Director of the Mackenzie Jones recruitment agency. The National.

“Show them their future and motivate them to earn their trust.

“Some Emiratis are afraid to join the private sector because it judges people on achieving their goals. Others think they are incapable of coping, which is wrong because they have the capacity to succeed.

“There are brilliant Emirati job seekers with excellent skills in the market.”

“Starting salaries of Dh25,000 for graduates are rare”

Mr McKenzie said many Emiratis expecting the greater financial rewards often found in the public sector may need to take a more realistic approach.

“Some junior level Emiratis are coming to the market with a high expectation of getting a range of packages between Dh20,000 and Dh25,000 [$5,445-$6,806]but they have to be reasonable,” he said.

Last year, the UAE government set ambitious plans to ensure that 10% of the private sector workforce is Emirati by 2026.

A series of incentives for employees and employers have been announced under the Nafis scheme, with the aim of recruiting 75,000 Emiratis during this period.

The move is in line with the UAE’s ambitious vision to harness the potential of local talent and make it a driver of the country’s economic development, for which the private sector is vital.

Private companies taking center stage at the job fair promised that Emiratis can expect excellent training programs, good salaries and a pleasant working environment.

“Investing in your career”

Citibank evaluated candidates for a wide range of jobs, including human resources, finance, consumer, online banking, trade and investment.

Mohammed Al Zarooni, senior vice president of the banking group, said its global presence made it an attractive proposition for Emiratis keen to broaden their horizons.

“Citibank is known as a global bank,” he said. “This factor gives the Emiratis the opportunity to have international exposure.

“The idea of ​​Emiratis still looking for jobs in the public sector is changing. I think private is the way to go.

He said Citibank offers employees a chance to develop their careers, both at home and abroad.

“We have a lot of success stories of Emiratis traveling to other countries like Switzerland and the United States to work in our branches,” he said.

“This international exposure is an important tool to attract Emiratis.”

Another financial services company, HSBC, has been successful in attracting local talent.

It has recruited 60 Emiratis so far this year and aims to employ 30 more before the end of 2022.

“HSBC is in line with the government’s new moves towards emirates,” said Amira Habib, head of emirates at HSBC.

“With the Nafis program and government support, Emiratis have become more comfortable starting their careers in the private sector.”

Du, a semi-governmental telecommunications organization, is already well ahead of the curve with 39% of its employees being Emirati and 47% of senior positions held by citizens.

Alia Al Serkal, head of people learning and growth at Du, said The National a good working environment was essential to attract Emiratis.

Amira Habib, head of emirates at HSBC, said more citizens are choosing to start their careers in the private sector.  Chris Whiteoak / The National

“We are creating more openness and everyone can be seen and accessible. Our goal is to help young Emiratis to develop their skills in different fields related to technology and telecommunications.

Ducab Group, a semi-governmental manufacturer, offers training for Emirati graduates through its Bidayiti — “My Beginning” — program.

Each Bidayiti intern receives a monthly salary, as well as health insurance and the opportunity to join the group as a full-time employee.

Participants receive practical training in various departments of the company.

Mona Fekri, director of human capital, said the training program was central to the “company’s ambitions to empower and develop national talent”.

Updated: September 25, 2022, 03:55