Monday, October 17, 2005

Tanmia calls for employing more nationals in construction sector :: WAM

Quote, emphasis added:
Tanmia today cited a study indicating that UAE nationals are at present under represented in the construction sector. The study recommended that Government intervention is needed to bolster UAE National employment in the construction sector and that such intervention is justified by the large number of opportunities available in desk-bound occupations in the sector.

The recommendations suggest that the following points need to be considered: There is a need to introduce policies to encourage the sector to reduce working hours, however this should be done in consultation with the sector and such measures should not interfere unfairly with business operations.

Secondly, the employability of UAE Nationals, particularly new entrants to the labour market, could be increased by the introduction of in-company training schemes to help them gain work experience. Such schemes could be coordinated by Tanmia.

Thirdly, existing policies that allow desk-bound occupations to be filled by expatriates when there is a surplus of qualified UAE National labour should be reviewed.

Finally, existing policies should be supported by legislative measures imposing an employment quota system on desk-bound occupations generally.
. . .
the sector employs nearly 17,000 workers in desk-bound occupations. These occupations include managers, engineers who perform desk-bound jobs, accountants, assistant accountants, secretaries, receptionists, material-recording and transport clerks, public relations clerks, personnel and human resource clerks and other office clerks.

The data revealed that non-Nationals dominate the construction sector. In 2004, employment in the construction sector included approximately 17,000 desk-bound positions, of which 68.5 percent were clerical positions. The surveyed companies reported 5,740 desk-bound positions. UAE Nationals accounted for only 3.2 percent of employment in these occupations and nearly 91 percent of these were males. Within this group, over 74 percent held managerial positions.
. . .
The survey data on salaries and working conditions showed that the salaries offered for desk-bound jobs in the construction sector are low (the average monthly salary for a manager was Dhs. 10,266 and for a general clerk, Dhs 2,653). The average work week was 51.8 hours which is considerably longer than that in other economic sectors where the average work week ranges from 40 to 48 hours. Also 78.6 percent of the surveyed companies reported that they operate a split shift.

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