Friday, May 06, 2005

Emiratisation of government jobs - Khaleej Times: "THE other day, a chance meeting with one of the heads of government departments ended up in a debate on the various issues facing the country, and one particular issue that threw up some interesting observations was that of Emiratisation of government jobs. Wearing a disappointed look when the talk meandered to Emiratisation, the official was quite blunt in making the observation that the efforts towards reducing the unemployment rate among nationals would not bear fruit till the mindset on administrative jobs was changed. He did not mince words when he pointed out that what was required, was to shift the focus from finding nationals jobs in administration to technical and other professional fields."

Students choose fields, their universities do not choose those fields for them. The universities perhaps have some responsibility to provide information on job prospects. But that task is rather formidable given the lack of government information on job opportunties and the differential prospects for national and non-national graduates from the nation's institutions of higher education. It is obvious enough, though, that administrative jobs in UAE government are already Emiratised. And the major sources of jobs in the public and private sector are in professional and technical occupations.

It is not the university's responsibility to confront attitudes towards different kinds of work. Those attitudes will change gradually as reality confronts wishful thinking.

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