Emirati students prefer government jobs: survey

Emirati students prefer working in the government sector because of the many benefits and job security it offers unlike the private sector.

According to local Arabic newspapers, citizens cite higher salaries offered in government jobs as one of the main reasons for them avoiding private companies. This was revealed in a nation-wide survey conducted recently to guage the opinion of Emirati students on the UAE job market.

Meanwhile, at a workshop hosted by the Emirates Foundation for Philanthropy, where young Emiratis were asked about their job aspirations in the private sector, it was found limited productivity demands and lack of confidence among local students to compete in a global environment among reasons why they prefer to wait for government openings.

The workshop, organised in cooperation with UAE University, discussed means to encourage young citizens to take up private sector jobs.

Recommended measures include promoting proper education, creating an awareness of work experience, career guidance, programmes of cultural exchange in universities to help expose young locals to new environments, etc.

Peter Cleaves, CEO of Emirates Foundation for Philanthropy, said: "The study  will help decision makers implement guidelines to encourage local talent in private sector."

Dr Ingo Forstenlechner, Pprofessor, Department of Business Administration, at  University of UAE, said the study comes at an important time for the UAE, as more than half of local population is below 20 years and about to enter the labour market. This also creates immense pressure on private sector to absorb citizens.

Emiratisation programmes are not successful as private sector comprises only five per cent citizens compared to 56 per cent in government sector, said Forstenlechner.

The study, first-of-its-kind to understand views of local students, also explains reasons for ineffectiveness of emiratisation, and what can be done in this regard.

The questionnaire was distributed last year to 2,267 local students, majority of them female students, with an average age of 22.

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