How will emiratization succeed?
The UAE government is struggling to encourage more Emiratis to work in the private sector. But they will first have to change the educational and labor conditions in the country, say analysts.
February 12, 2010 10:43 by Aarti Nagraj
Salem agrees. There is no career education in the country to guide students, she says. “The Emirati students need the support to tell them where their strengths are. So they know how to use them,’ she says. It’s because of the lack of appropriate guidance that they are not able to find labor opportunities, she says. “But if they know how to employ their abilities, then I am sure they can do well.”
Education is a major factor. Currently, many students from the region are sponsored by the government to study in international universities. However, when they return, they also concentrate on positions in the public sector, rather than the private sector.
Hugh Lauder, a professor in the Department of Education at the UK-based University of Bath, says that improving local research facilities could encourage those returning to the UAE to pursue careers in academia. “You want these people to be productive when they come back. So if you have a view, a long term strategic plan to step up particular leading edge areas of research and development, then, they are not going to go into the public sector in the normal sense,” he explains.
But education alone is not enough to do the trick, insists Salem. The government will have to introduce more laws to make the private sector as lucrative as the public sector to the Emiratis, she says.