The banking sector has achieved a 3.3 per cent increase in the rate of Emiratisation and opened 104 branches in 2009 despite the economic downturn, according to a senior official.
The rate of Emiratisation in the banks reached 34.4 per cent last year, said Ahmad Humaid Al Tayer, Governor of the Dubai International Financial Centre and Chairman of the Human Resources Development Committee for the Banking and Financial Sector.
The whole sector, which includes banking, insurance, currency exchange and finance, witnessed a two per cent increase in Emiratisation last year, bringing the rate up to 26 per cent.
"The total number of UAE nationals working in the sector reached 13,820 employees in 2009, up from 12,805 in 2008," he said. "The banks achieved the best results and highest rates of emiratisation among the four divisions.
"The total number of nationals working in banks has reached 12,851 out of a total 37,340 employees, an Emiratisation rate of 34.4 per cent and a 3.3 per cent increase compared with 2008. And 16 banks have achieved the stipulated four per cent annual rate of increase set out in Cabinet Decision Number 10 of 1998."
The rates of emiratisation in the other three segments – finance, insurance and exchange – were lagging behind expectations and were below the targets, he said.
The committee, which became the umbrella organisation for HR development in the three segments only two years ago, plans to pay follow-up visits to companies and create training programmes for nationals to help them obtain jobs and develop their skills.
"There are about 3,000 national jobseekers and most of them have university degrees," said Al Tayer, who urged companies to grab the opportunity and provide jobs to nationals.
"They should work seriously to achieve an acceptable rate of emiratisation and they have no excuse not to do that."
Al Tayer said a significant number of nationals had given up jobs in banks and joined other sectors.
"The committee is studying this phenomenon to find out the reasons behind it and devise solutions if problems prompted nationals to resign. The resignation of national employees puts a burden on the rates of emiratisation. The committee will work with human resources managers at banks, which saw resignations by national employees, to help direct them in order to ensure there are clear career paths."
He said this phenomenon was a positive sign as it showed that the banking sector was supporting the economy by employing qualified nationals. It means that banks are preparing nationals well if they are being induced to join other sectors. The emiratisation plan is an ambitious one and will taketime to implement completely, especially as the country is growing fast and has a rising number of institutions.
"The cabinet stipulates emiratisation rates without penalties. We are not going to impose penalties on institutions that fail to achieve the target. We focus on co-operative efforts."
Al Tayer was speaking at the presentation of the Human Resources Development in the Banking and Financial Sector Award and Best CEO for Emiratisation Award. The ceremony was held on the sidelines of the three-day 12th National Career Exhibition for the Banking, Finance and Government Sectors at Sharjah's Expo Centre inaugurated by His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah.
Jamal Al Jasmi, General Manager of the Emirates Institute for Banking and Financial Studies and Secretary General of the Committee, stressed the importance of producing graduates qualified to work in the banking and financial sector.
He said educational institutions should design programmes that suited the demands of the labour market.
"Educational institutions should not work in isolation from market requirements and needs," he said.
"They should design programmes to help produce graduates with sufficient awareness and skills. The emiratisation results are positive and the institutions are co-operating with us."
The committee is focusing on emiratisation of risk management, treasury, credit and auditing departments.
Ahmed Mohammed Al Midfa, Chairman of Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said: "Despite the prevailing tough conditions in the labour market, thousands of competent national graduates found jobs last year. And things have started improving this year.
"For nationals, the exhibition will continue to serve as a leading platform and a launchpad for a career in the banking sector," he said.
The Human Resources Development Committee in Banking and Financial Sector has honoured nationals who occupy CEO positions in banks in recognition of their career advancement
- Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, CEO of Al Mashreq
- Hussain Al Qemzi, Group Chief Executive, Noor Islamic Bank and Noor Investment Group
- Mohammed Ahmad Abdullah, CEO of Sharjah Islamic Bank
- Ibrahim Lootah, General Manager, Al Masraf
- Alaa Eraiqat, CEO of Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank
Winners of the Human Resources Development in the Banking and Financial Sector Award were:
First: The Banking Sector. The First Devision: (banks whose number of employees is 1,000 and above). The award went to two banks due to their excellent emiratisation rate. They were:
- Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank
- Dubai Commercial Bank
The Third Division: (banks whose number of employees is 250 to 1,000)
The winner was Ajman Bank
Second: The Exchange Sector:
The winner was:
- Al Rostamani International Exchange
The Best Emiratisation CEO Award 2009
The National Bank of Abu Dhabi's (NBAD) Group Chief Executive Michael H Tomalin has won the Best Emiratisation CEO award in Banking Sector
The human resources committee has also awarded banks that have achieved 100 per cent rate of emiratisation in branch manager posts for three respective years:
- Standard Chartered Bank
- United Arab Bank
- Al Masraf
- Emirates Islamic Bank
- Royal Bank of Scotland
- Dubai Islamic Bank
- Barclays Bank
Keep up with the latest business news from the region with the Emirates Business 24|7 daily newsletter. To subscribe to the newsletter, please click here.