OPN-190520 Emiratisation-1558356559361
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Private sector companies in the UAE received a further incentive to accelerate their efforts in Emiratisation with a reduction in the cost of labour recruitment fees announced by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation. For private sector companies who are members of the Emiratisation Partners Club (or ‘Tawteen Partners Club’), that was launched last year, this cost will now be only Dh300 per employee. Additionally, a new membership category, Bronze, has been introduced for Tawteen members, in addition to the existing Platinum, Gold and Silver categories.

The role played by the private sector in enabling the UAE reach its Emiratisation goal need not be overstated. The Tawteen initiative awards points based on how actively the member companies follow innovative recruitment of Emiratis, offer them training and senior management commitment, and create a working environment that aligns with the UAE’s national goals.

For member companies with high numbers of workforce or even medium-sized entities, the lowered fee will yield substantial cost savings.

The UAE’s Emiratisation drive has, over the years, seen consistent progress with the government sparing no effort in reaching their National Agenda goals of 2031. In 2018, for example, the ministry’s efforts resulted in providing more than 20,000 job opportunities, up from 6,000 in 2017. While the government is putting its full force behind equipping Emirati cadres with the requisite skills for the labour market, promoting entrepreneurship and building a knowledge-based economy, these efforts must be strengthened by equal fervour in the private sector.

A salient aspect of Tawteen is its prioritisation of sectors that will help fortify its knowledge-based economy through Emiratisation: For example, companies with at least 250 employees and above operating in finance and health sectors are considered high priority as compared to companies with at least 500 employees in the retail sector that are considered medium priority. This trajectory needs to be taken seriously by the private sector.

Policies alone, however, cannot do the full job. Implementation of polices is key. Tawteen’s avowed aim to conduct a periodical review of Emiratisation percentages at member establishments every six months is a great example of how the deliverables will be quantified.

The need of the hour therefore is the speed at which the private sector implements its contribution. For example, this year, more than 30,000 private sector jobs will be up for grabs for Emiratis. By the end of the year, these must turn into jobs and not remain numbers.