File photo of Emiratis at 'Careers UAE' in 2019. Picture for illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Abu Dhabi: The UAE government on Sunday revealed a string of new initiatives to boost the representation of Emirati talents in the private sector, as part of the wider ‘Projects of the 50’ being announced during the ‘Year of the 50th’ anniversary of the country.

Here is an overview of all the talent development programmes under the newly-announced ‘Nafis’ initiative:

1. Emirati Talent Competitiveness Council: The council is chaired by Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, with Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan acting as vice chairman. It also includes representatives from federal government, and is tasked with providing 75,000 private sector jobs for Emiratis over the next five years.

2. Salary support: The government will top up salaries received by Emiratis in the private sector for the first year of employment, with an additional amount of Dh8,000 per month for university students, Dh6,500 per month for diploma holders and Dh4,000 per month for high school graduates. Salaries will also be subsidised for five years after employment, with university students being paid an additional Dh5,000 per month, diploma holders receiving Dh4,000 additional per month, and high school graduates receiving Dh3,000 additional per month.

3. Merit programme: This programme will support Emiratis working in specialist fields in the private sector, including programmers, nurses, accountants, coders, financial analysts, and others, with a fixed bonus of Dh5,000 per month above their own salaries.

4. Pension support: The UAE government will provide subsidised five-year contributions on private sector company’s behalf against the cost of pension plans for Emirati staff, and full support for the employee’s contribution across the first five years of their employment.

5. Child support: Emiratis in the private sector will receive a monthly allowance of up to Dh800 per child, up to a maximum amount of Dh3,200, till each child turns 21 years old.

6. Training fund: A total of Dh1.25 billion will be allocated so that specialised training programmes can be offered to Emiratis in various industries. This will allow beneficiaries in the private sector to receive internationally recognised professional qualificationsm in property management, accounting and business management.

7. Apprentice programme: A 12-month vocational training programme will be launched in cooperation with private and semi-governmental companies, with monthly financial rewards for trained personnel. This aims to support beneficiaries with experience that qualifies them to excel in the private sector.

8. Privatisation targets: A target percentage has also been set for Emirati skilled employment in the private sector. Companies that with at least 50 employees that have been operational for five years must employ two per cent of Emiratis in skilled roles in the first year, and increase this annually by two per cent to reach 10 per cent in five years

9. Healthcare programme: An integrated programme will also train and employ 10,000 Emirati nursing professionals within the next five years. Training will be provided in three tracks including for healthcare assistants, a higher diploma in Emergency Medicine and a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing.

10. Graduate fund: A Dh1 billion fund under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan will grant micro-loans to university students and recent graduates in cooperation with national universities, with the aim of supporting them in starting their own businesses.

11. Entrepreneurship drive: A new policy will provide Emiratis in federal government with a six- to 12-month career break, with a grant amounting to half their salary, so that they can set up their own businesses. This programme will launch at the beginning of 2022, and will be available to select employees with employer approval.

12. Early retirement: Emiratis in federal government will also be able to retire early once they reach 50 years of age in order to set up their own ventures. The UAE government will ensure their entitlement to full end-of-service benefits, or the retiree can choose to receive a five-year lump sum payment, known usually as a ‘golden handshake’ payment. This will also be available to select employees with employer approval.

13. Unemployment benefits: The government will also provide temporary financial aid, for a period of six months, to Emiratis who lose their jobs in the private sector due to circumstances beyond their control.