Aspiring Emirati job seekers at a recent careers fair in Dubai. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News Aarchives

Abu Dhabi: A member of the Federal National Council (FNC) put a question to Nasser Bin Thani Al Hameli, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, about performance of the many career fairs held across the country.

Nasser Mohammad Al Yamahi

Nasser Mohammad Al Yamahi said many job fairs are held across the country, and large numbers of job seekers come to them, but many of them complain about the lack of seriousness of these fairs and say they are fake and employ only a very limited number of applicants.

Al Hameli replied, “The ministry’s has no competence to oversee job fairs, and so it does not measure the outputs of these fairs, which are carried out with local efforts that we appreciate.”

Al Hameli added the ministry is only focused on the Open Days initiative for direct employment launched in 2017, whose goals are integrated with the desired goals of other career fairs.

Nasser Bin Thani Al Hameli

“These open day events give the opportunity to citizens to sign job contracts on the spot. Candidate who fail the interview are trained so that they can get jobs in the next open day,” the minister said.

Al Yamahi said that the ministry is responsible for the issue of Emiratisation and creating jobs for citizens, and it does not make sense that the private sector businesses do not employ citizens. “This is one of the core functions of the ministry, and the Cabinet approved a new system to give employing citizens top priority. The Cabinet has also set up a committee concerned with creating jobs for citizens, meanwhile people complain about the lack of jobs and fake job fairs,” the member said.

Al Yamahi demanded job fairs be supported and controlled by the Ministry of Human Resources, warning there is a dire need to match education with the job market, as technological changes risk making many young people’s qualifications obsolete.

Al Yamahi said the ministry’s role in this regard should be a part of a nationwide programme to close the skills gap and align current education and training systems with the requirements of the labour market, which continues to see major changes driven by technological and demographic factors, as well as shifts in business models and job descriptions.

Al Yamahi said advancing Emiratisation efforts is hugely contingent on the need to develop the skills of Emiratis.

The UAE Closing the Skills Gap Accelerator Programme helps Emiratis to develop the skills required to fill future jobs and keep pace with rapid transformations in the labour market.

It brings about 100 government departments and private companies together to look at how learning can be better matched to the jobs available.

It looks closely at whether young people are studying the right subjects and taking relevant degrees to secure employment.