Thursday, June 09, 2005

Unemployment of nationals could exceed 40,000 :: Gulf News
Al Faris said while 11,000 nationals, mostly women, applied to Tanmia to find work last year, according to estimates real unemployment figures hovered aro-und 37,000 to 40,000. He said the guestimate was a result of piece-meal studies done on unemployment in different emirates.

The lower Tanmia figure he said, was because "not all job seekers apply to Tanmia for assistance, and not everybody who applies at Tanmia is unemployed".
Comment: Thus, the upper figure counts some who don't apply to Tanmia but who are seeking work and are unemployed, while the lower figure excludes both these job seekers as well as job seekers who are registered with Tanmia but are not unemployed.

Is education to blame?
Al Faris said the nation's public education system had to shoulder some of the blame. Tanmia statistics showed 44 per cent of job seekers had finished secondary studies, and another 22 per cent had a BA.

Another set of figures showed an exodus into private education. "Fifty-two per cent of students now complete their studies entirely in the private system. Is there a crisis in education? Yes, experts in that field say there is a problem," Al Faris said.
Paraphrasing: The large percentage of nationals in private primary and secondary school is an indication that national parents are taking their children out of government schools because they provide a poor quality of education.

Comment: I'm somewhat incredulous that 52% of nationals are in private schools. There's another number to ask about.

Mismatch between training and available jobs?
Al Faris said UAE nationals were not taking on studies that could lead to more job opportunities. "Most of the higher education [of Tanmia applicants] was in computing and business, which shows these professions don't necessarily guarantee a job anymore."
Female unemployment and social constraints
Social constraints were also stopping more women from entering the labour market, Al Faris said. "We've noticed the further a woman is from a city, the more likely she is to be employed." Still-powerful cultural mores prevented women from moving outside her family home before marriage to find work, he said.
Educational attainment choices as barrier to a good job
Al Faris said the nation's public education system had to shoulder some of the blame. Tanmia statistics showed 44 per cent of job seekers had finished secondary studies, and another 22 per cent had a BA.
Comment: But how much blame should the system shoulder for choices made by students not to complete their secondary studies or not to pursue a college degree? The public education system also has to contend - for instance - with the fact that the police and military will take on male nationals who have not completed high school.

Note, also, that of the students who do complete high school most are women. The same is true of those who earn a college degree. But, as noted, females face social constraints about the kinds of jobs they accept and whether they work at all. Thus, of those most likely to work (males) educational attainment is even lower than the figures cited above.

According to the Tanmia study Employment and Human Resource Report 2004, the number of nationals in their final year of secondary education in 2002 was 14898. Over 58% of those were females. In 2001/2002 there was a total of 7117 national graduates earning a college degree in the UAE. 73% of those were female. (It is true, that males are more likely than females to study abroad - the size of this effect is unknown.)

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3 Comments:

Blogger Keefieboy said...

"Most of the higher education [of Tanmia applicants] was in computing and business, which shows these professions don't necessarily guarantee a job anymore."

What does that mean exactly?

2:58 AM  
Blogger John B. Chilton said...

The meaning is not clear. A better statistic would be the rate of unemployment among national students taking various degrees.

Could you be specific, though, about what you have in mind? It would help me to provide a useful answer.

11:33 AM  
Blogger ESLArabia said...

Until very recently I worked for a major employer who is involved in the Tanmia program. There exists an obvious bias on the part of expat workers toward national trainees. I witnessed it everyday. Because nationals are expensive to train and because they aren't immediate revenue generators, the private sector is dragging its feet. Let's face it, when a national is employed in the private sector, an expat worker becomes unemployed or fails to get that job. These young nationals are very bright and they are becoming angry at the injustice.

6:16 PM  

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