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Survey Says UAE Students Prefer Working in the Government

UAE : 11 January 2011

The job security and benefits of government jobs makes them very attractive to Emirati students, more so than those in private industry.

Based on reports in the local Arabic print media, the opportunity to earn larger salaries is a major reason that citizens prefer working in the government as opposed to private business. In a recent survey covering the entire nation Emirati students were asked to give their opinion on the state of the job market in the UAE.

Also, while attending an Emirates Foundation for Philanthropy workshop young UAE citizens were questioned about their career aspirations in regards to private industry. The results showed that limited demands on productivity and lower confidence levels among the Emirati students looking to be competitive in the global business environment were a few of the reasons that students preferred to wait for job openings within the government.

The UAE University also helped to organize the workshop where discussions encouraging youth to take on private industry employment began.

After the discussions were held, recommended measures included promotion of the proper education, guidance in career opportunities, becoming aware of the work experience and cultural exchange programs at the university level to provide local youth exposure to varied environments.

Emirates Foundation for Philanthropy CEO Peter Cleaves stated that this study will be helpful for decision makers as they put guidelines into practice that draw local talented individuals into private industry.

A professor at the University of UAE, Dr Ingo Forstenlechner, told Emirates 24/7 that this study is timely for the UAE as over 50 percent of the local population is less than 20 years old and ready to enter the job market. Dr Forstenlechner, who belongs to the Department of Business Administration at the school, stated that the private sector is under heavy pressure to absorb the Emiratis.

According to the professor, programs for Emiratisation have seen little success considering private industry employs just five percent of citizens and the government employs 56 percent.

This study is innovative and the first one of its kind aimed at understanding where local students are. It also sheds light on why emiratisation has been ineffective and helps to provide direction on future actions.

Last year 2,267 Emiratis students were given the survey. The average age was 22 and the main group of students was female.

Paul Holdsworth, Staff Writer, Gulf Jobs Market News
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