Thursday, June 02, 2005

Unemployment a ticking time bomb :: Khaleej Times
Ras Al Khaimah

The group [of local female college graduates] said unemployment had become a serious issue which should be addressed by both the government and private institutions. According to them, joblessness among UAE national graduates had become a social time bomb which needs to be addressed urgently. "We have been interviewed by a number of prospective employers from both the government and private sectors, but no one has approached us seriously," Hemddah Ahmed Al Khayat, an IT diploma holder said. She goes on to add with a touch of pride : "We are not looking for jobs merely to earn a living, but also to safeguard our dignity and to feel that we are human beings who are ready to serve the country and the people. The idea of sitting at home without a job is a nightmare for me."

Some students said they were even willing to seek jobs outside the emirate, which, in a way, highlights the gravity of the situation. "I am willing to take up a job in Dubai, Abu Dhabi or even Sharjah provided that I get an offer which is worthwhile," said Abeer Najim Al Rasibi, a graduate in Applied Business Administration. She had earlier graduated from the UAE University, Faculty of Science, Biology Department, in 1998, and remained jobless for three years before finally deciding to study [Applied Business Administration in Ras Al Khaimah Womens' College]. She is currently being employed by an Ras Al Khaimah-based national bank.
There are several religious, social and economic reasons which have also contributed towards the unemployment among graduate women, says Shaikha Amal Al Qasimi, Students Services and Activities Coordinator. "Some families put very tough preconditions for girls to work like secure transportation and working hours limited to mornings hours. I am not against our deep-rooted social and religious norms, but these families should take into consideration the rising economic and social factors.

"I do realise the concerns of the private sector in employing locals because they think nationals ask for shorter working hours and high salaries besides other benefits," Saeed Abuelreesh, Community and External Relations Coordinator, said. Calling upon the government to encourage the private sector to employ national graduates by contributing to the salaries and pensions of the locals, Saeed Abuelreesh said: "The government should give some incentive to the businessmen so as to encourage them to employ nationals."


Emphasis added.


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