Young Emiratis now welcome private jobs with open arms, but coordinated efforts between public and private sectors are the need of the hour, according to recruitment experts.

 Top jobs on offer at UAE careers

Emirates airline: 100 cadet pilots

DP World: 100 vacancies in trade and logistics

Mohammed Bin rashid space Centre: 25 engineers and 10 admin and support occupations

Al Noor Bank: 25 positions in corporate banking, risk management, compliance and retail banking

Dubai Municipality: 486 vacancies in safety and public health, environment and engineering

GDRFA: 100 vacancies in airport and innovation department

Over 100 private companies introduced different initiatives to attract Emirati employees during the annual Careers UAE 2018, in line with the government’s Emiratisation drive in private sector.

During the exhibition, organised for hiring UAE nationals from March 13-15, recruitment experts said internship programmes and constant meetings between government and private sector are recommended to ensure creating the right career opportunities for Emiratis.

Mohammad Al Hamadi, HR manager at Pepsi Co AMENA, said the Emirati youth are ready to join the private sector, but they need guidance. “Emiratis today look beyond having high salaries and shorter working hours. Their sight is now focused on career opportunities,” said Al Hamadi.

He said the experience Emiratis would get at international companies “is invaluable.” However, private companies shouldn’t only focus on employment process of Emiratis, but the quality of jobs the youth is being placed in. “It isn’t a matter of numbers of Emiratis you have in an organisation, but what comes after the hiring process and how are you making these employees happy and engaged in the company’s growth.”Emiratis opt for the UAE Astronaut programme

Hundreds of Emiratis approached the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) to get a chance to be among the UAE’s first astronauts.

With the programme’s deadline slotted by end of this month, young Emiratis rushed to the centre’s stand during the Careers UAE exhibition to register their application online. The strict criteria of the programme did not discourage the youth of dreaming big. Among the applicants was 20-year-old Rehab Jassem, an electrical engineering senior at Higher College of Technology, said discovering space is the future of UAE.

“The country is looking to be advanced in science and technology, and I hope to become part of that,” said Jassem, who’s hoping to become the UAE’s first female astronaut to fly to space.

“My field in engineering is close to what the space centre requires, so I’m positive I can add to it by my expertise,” said Jassem.

Applicants to the programme must be over 18 with a university degree and proficiency in Arabic and English.

Salem Al Marri, assistant director general for scientific, technical affairs at MBRSC and head of higher committee of the UAE Astronaut Programme, told Khaleej Times candidates must have hand skills, eye-hand coordination skills and be medically suitable for space flight.

Saif Al Zarooni, Zayed University graduate with mechanical engineering degree, said he is ready to go through the rigorous selection process. Abdel Rahman Attar, a 22-year-old science and IT student at the Higher College of Technology, said that the sky is no limit to the young nation. He added: “Even if I wasn’t chosen among the candidates, I feel honoured the country is offering us such opportunities.”

So far, over 3,000 Emiratis applied for the position since the announcement in December. Candidates will go through advanced three-year training in 2019 on becoming astronauts and go for missions at the International Space

Pepsi Co receives 250 applications from Emiratis a year, among which 40 per cent are selected to fulfil different job roles. The company offers a six-month Future Leadership Programme, which focuses on utilising Emirati talents with 0-2 years of experience and enables them to take up senior positions in the field they find suitable. Summer internships are also offered to prepare them for future jobs.

“We look into the pool of candidates, and based on interviews, we place them in relevant roles based on their aspirations,” said Al Hamadi.

Similarly, Majid Al Futtaim Group has already hired Emirati managers across its 10 shopping malls in the UAE, while looking to hire “as many trained Emiratis as possible” by 2021.

The group offers Tumoohi programme that trains Emirati fresh graduates for 18 months, with rotation in properties, retail and ventures every six months to help see their aspirations and recruit accordingly.

Ali Al Abdulla, head of community, neighbourhood malls development and government affairs at Majid Al Futtaim, said the most important aspect of recruitment is to add trained employees to their jobs. About 50 per cent of Emiratis hired are women.

“Youth’s mentality towards the private sector changed, but Emiratis are still hesitant about joining. As companies, we need to provide good offers, training and awareness,” said Al Abdulla, stating that the group looks to add more Emiratis it its legal, facilities, finance, accounting and marketing departments, besides the new fields of mall management and retail.

Through Careers UAE, Al Noor Bank is looking to fill 25 positions across corporate banking, risk management, compliance and retail banking business units, with the stand witnessing more applications than last year. Hind Al Attar, head of human resources, said the bank already hired 146 nationals and 12 more will be hired as part of their fresh graduate national program Imtiyaz.

She said since the youth are looking for digitisation and transformation, the bank looks to align its vision with the youth interest in technology. “We are moving towards innovation, and the youth will be the ones to provide fresh ideas. We look forward to having them as key players in this area,” said Al Attar.

Trainings, programmes

DP World is looking to recruit 100 young Emirati nationals in trade and logistics in roles covering multiple disciplines, including operations, engineering, commercial, planning and administration.

In the booth at Careers UAE, DP World uses smart technology to introduce and train Emiratis in crane operations and marine jobs. DP World trains and develops graduates in different parts of its business through a range of specific programmes such as the Ruwad Training Programme aimed at those with less than two years’ experience, Tumoohi Programme for graduates, Ta’heel Sponsorship Programme, Nautical Science Programme, Bedaya Summer Programme for school and university students, and its Internship & Work Placement Programme.

Meanwhile, Emirates Group are looking to hire 100 Emirati cadet pilots, with high school degrees, who will undergo up to three years training. The group already employed 13 Emirati pilots. The company, determined to attract more UAE nationals, has 3,030 Emiratis in total, with target to hire 100 Emirati pilots a year.

Emirati women storm male bastion

Crane operating is considered man’s job in across the world and women are rarely seen in this field. Contrary to this, the DP World recently hired two females as crane operator and technical supervisor.

Marwa Al Dousari, is the technical supervisor at the crane workshop of DP World, UAE Region. From repairing giant gantry or quay cranes to managing a multi-lingual staff, she plays a key role in keeping our massive operations up and running.

Amna Ghanim, crane operator, works on height of 50 feet and discharges 35 containers per hour. When Amna joined the organisation, people thought she would be working in administration but she chose to handle a huge quay crane.

Meanwhile, Emirates Group has employed seven female pilots and five more women are currently at the Emirates training academy that launched last year in Dubai.

Nouf Abdelhamid Omar, a pilot with the Emirates, looks to inspire more females to join the field through her talks in different schools.

“The attitude towards having female pilots changed. People now give me more encouraged, than shocked, looks. They also send their regards to me through the cabin crew,” said Omar. She added that being a pilot gave her the opportunity to perform her passion of aviation.

One such pilot since 2014 is Nouf Abdelhamid Omar who already headed 15 flights of Boeing 777 to Egypt, India, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia at 21 years old. Nouf joined Emirates after graduating from Al Mawakeb School in 2014, spending two years in training in Spain and flying since May 2017. Careers UAE brings together over 160 UAE-based companies and close to 18,000 Emirati job seekers.