Abu Dhabi: Topics untouched during the Human Resources and Development in the Arabian Gulf conference included serious gaps between human capital versus performance and human development versus an organisation's internal development plan, said a senior Emirati official.

Job environments in the GCC do not encourage employees to take risks through which they can learn, an approach that has proven successful in countries like Singapore and Malaysia, said Dr Khalid O. Al Yahya, Director of the Arab Public Management Research Initiative, Dubai School of Government.

"Not one speaker during the three-day conference tapped upon the potential energies of our workforce .. in spite of the UAE government intervening in various ways to help prepare our human resources," he said.

This is a result of a lack of attention between authorities or senior officials with skilled employees.

"This has resulted in integration between Emiratis and expatriates, causing confusion and stereotyping expatriates as a threat," he said, adding the major mistake of organisations is focusing on building technical skills rather than what the labour market demands from employees.

To create a sustainable present and future generation, an urgent futuristic role and vision is required from organisations in the UAE, he said. "There is a relative deficit in human capital, not a deficit in a human being's skills or capabilities, the absence of proper mechanisms and organisations is the major problem."