Abu Dhabi: In the next 10 years 70,000 to 80,000 Emiratis will be seeking employment in Abu Dhabi, said Abdullah Al Darmaki, general manager of the Abu Dhabi Tawteen Council (ADTC), during the two-day Emiratisation Employers Forum 2010 on Monday.

The ADTC was established in 2005 to spearhead the Abu Dhabi Government's efforts to develop the Emirati workforce.

"We want to continue to increase our Emirati workforce from seven to nine per cent in the next three years, creating 6,000 jobs mainly in the private sector.

"Today's event is all about engagement in the private sector; we collectively shape the policy agenda going forward," said Al Darmaki.

The ADTC has registered 10,000 job-seeking Emiratis since its initiation and placed Emiratis in 2,500 jobs last year alone, said Al Darmaki.

"Close to 80 per cent of job-seekers are Emirati women, out of which four per cent are employed in the private sector and 52 per cent in the public sector. One per cent is employed in tourism and 18 per cent in energy," he said.

Lack of prospects

Some reasons for the low Emiratisation levels, added Al Darmaki, include perceived lack of prospects in the private sector and preference to work in the public sector due to salary differences.

Dr. Mugheer Al Khaili, director general of the Abu Dhabi Education Council, explained it is playing a role in putting into place policies to create knowledge workers in Abu Dhabi.

"Abu Dhabi needs scholars and well-informed people who are proud of their culture," he said.

According to Shaikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, surveys compiled by universities indicate that employers are generally pleased with how well Emiratis adapt to the private sector work environment and bring value to it.

"For private sector Emiratisation to succeed, every private sector employer must actively and aggressively recruit and employ a national graduate. Employers must create appropriate employment opportunities for UAE nationals in their companies. They must seek out qualified graduates as employees, and provide them with the mentorship's important for their success," said Shaikh Nahyan, in his address at the forum.