Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, held at its headquarters a seminar titled Education, Human capital, Labor Supply and Growth Path in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Participants of seminar included representatives of the Abu Dhabi Council for Economic Development, the Abu Dhabi Education Council, Abu Dhabi Tawteen Council and the Institute of Education and Vocational Training. The seminar first session addressed at a number of topics which focused on education, human capital and economic growth in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and the recruitment of nationals in the private sector with emphasis on the opportunities, challenges and the plan of Abu DhabTawteen Council to regulate the labor market.The second session concentrated on the strategic themes of education and the labor market in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, and needs of vocational education and training, scientific research and the labor market requirements, reality and challenges.The seminar recommended the changing the combination of students and graduates of universities batches, as this would positively influence the quality of knowledge and innovation in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, provided that disciplines would meet the aspirations of the government of Abu Dhabi and its strive for realizing the 2030 Vision, by introducing stimulus packages to urge citizens to enroll in certain disciplines.
The seminar stressed the need to change the composition of labor force to expedite the application of the principles of the knowledge economy, in view of the high number of unskilled labor in the work force, and the importance of reducing male domination on labor market, by increasing the women contribution, and reducing unskilled labor...The importance of the public sector role in the present phase, was emphasized, especially the need to embrace the increasing demand of citizens to work in private institutions, at a time when the divide is widening between national human capital and non-citizens.The symposium focused on the importance of launching an initiative for compulsory university and vocational education for all citizens to reduce the rate of citizens dropout after high school to less than (2%), and develop activate awareness programs in schools of the importance of university education.The importance of setting a ceiling for the number of students who enroll in certain disciplines (such as administration, arts, education and information technology) was also stressed by the seminar, as well as giving incentives for enrollment in targeted specialties (such as communications, medicine, finance and other disciplines).Among the issues emphasized by the seminar, were the importance of developing and activating vocational guidance programs in schools, launching awareness raising campaigns to encourage the private sector to employ nationals, organizing seminars and workshops and media campaigns to shed light on the incentives to be provided by the government, and organizing exhibitions aimed at recruitment of nationals in the private sector.The Education Human Capital seminar also emphasized the need for establishing strategic partnerships between the government and the private sector companies, and to provide additional incentives for companies which employing nationals in targeted professions. This included the encouragement of citizens to study such targeted disciplines to ensure recruitment of university students upon graduation and completion of a planned full year of training in private companies. It was recommended that the government should bear the costs of training of new employees in the private sector during the first two years.Incentives recommended by the seminar to spur citizens to join the private sector including raising retirement pensions in the private sector and counting previous years of service for those who will work for the private sector outside Abu Dhabi. It was recommended that self-employed business owners should be included in the pension system and, requiring all private sector companies to list all employed citizens especially new graduates.The seminar highlighted the need to strengthen the culture of research and, diversify sources of funding and financial support, and the strengthening, ties coordination between universities, government departments, and research centers and the private sector, in addition to linking universities and research centers with labor market needs of qualified competent citizens, and providing incentives and support to such important specialties and disciplines. The Education, Human capital, Knowledge and Growth Path seminar activities focused on the relationship between productivity factor, education and human capital Dr. Khaled El-Mattrawy, the Economic Expert at Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development said that the time series data and statistics on education, human capital and knowledge, in Abu Dhabi were prepared in a special study, for the seminar topic, cover the period1970 -2050 reflect beyond no doubt that the that realization of high and rising growth rates would help achieving the goals of sustainable development.The time series data demonstrated that Abu Dhabi have maintained increased levels of employment; and opportunities for establishing new projects based mainly on domestic investments, that contributed to the empowerment of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and the building of a strong diversified economy, not dependent on oil as the main source of financial resources, continuously developing additional sources to contribute to the diversification of the economic base. Al Matrawy explained that the time series data were split into two main parts; the first covers the historical period 1970-2012 to document the achievements of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi in the economic and social spheres, and highlight the main development of the national economy in various sectors of agriculture and industry, oil and gas, trade, tourism, education, health services among others; in addition to sectoral analysis of factors of production which propels economic growth, with focus on the relationship between growth, education, human capital, knowledge and the level of technology in the emirate, together with the productivity of each sector in the Emirate's economy.Dr El-Mattrawy added that the second part of the time series data covers the period 2013-2050 predicts the trend of same variables and factors analyzed for the period 1970-2012. The main issues covered by the study, focused on private and public education, and private and public university education developments till 2012, exploring reality and challenges. It also analyzed predicted labor compositions in the emirate, human capital stock in relation to employment, and sectoral and total physical capital until the year 2050, using the SOLOW model to calculate the impact of technological changes, and the Lucas model to calculate the impact of human capital on growth. E-Mattrawy said that the study provided estimates for students at different stages of education until 2020, as well as annual estimates of labor force by gender, nationality, educational level; and similarly for the number of employed individuals, rates of unemployment provided for the first time till 2030 and beyond up to the year 2050, which will; act as a useful tool for labor planning and related policy-making. According to Dr. E-Mattrawy, the study also provided the first annual estimates for the accumulation of human capital in Abu Dhabi by nationality and gender, and calculated impact on development, in addition to its impact on GDP levels in the Emirate. E-Mattrawy added that To further identify the effects of sources of growth on the economic performance of the emirate, the study reviewed the accumulation of physical capital stock by sector in accordance with the International Standard Industrial Classification (ISIC) and relevant computations in order to identify promising sectors and sectors which need to improve their methods of production.The study concluded by listing of results, most importantly, the increasing numbers of students at different educational levels, which doubled, due to the efforts of the emirate to develop education and educational structures, universities, schools, programs, classes and lectures and teachers and the marked improvement in the different educational curricula.Dr. El-Mattrawy said that students in government education comprised approximately 61% of the total number of students in Abu Dhabi during the period 1983-2012 and constituted 11% of the total number population of the emirate. Registering an average growth rate of 326% for the period. Male students grew at an average of 374% and females at 306% on average for the same period.Private education students accounted for 39% of total number of students during the period1983-2012, representing 7% of the total population of the emirate. The number of students grew at an average rate of 1120%, during the same period, while male students grew by an average of 2500% and females by 810% for the same period. The number of citizens in private education grew at an average rate of 300%; males in this category grew at the rate 100% and females at 200% on average. Dr. Mattrawy noted that Arab students in private education in Abu Dhabi, registered growth at average rate of 996% during the period 1983-2011. Male and female students growth rates stood at 998% and 996% respectively during the same period. The number of students from other nationalities also grew at 640%, 650% and 670% with regard to total enrolment, males and females respectively during the period 1983-2012. This indicates the marked increase in the number of students as key partners in education in the Emirate, in line with the estimates of Abu Dhabi Education Council and its development plans and forecasts for enrolment, schools and classrooms.
In his presentation Dr. Khaled El-Mattrawy said that although the study indicated a continued increase in the number of University students, however; it revealed that approximately 80% of undergraduates were interested in theoretical disciplines at the expense of applied disciplines; and, in this context, the study recommended the need for a stimulus plan to steer students direct them towards the applied disciplines, to meet the requirements of the plans and ambitions of the Emirate focused on economic diversification. With regard to the vocational education, the study showed the increasing diversity in the number of male and female students attending technical institutes in the various specializations offered by these institutes.As for labor structure El-Mattrawy explained that the study provided annual estimates of labor force, employment and unemployment rates by gender, nationality, educational level; indicating that changes and fluctuations in growth of the labor force, will be reduced as of 2015., however; the characteristics of the labor market will be determined mainly by males.The study indicated that the control of the unskilled labor over the market, would affect productivity. Qualifications of national labor force is expected not less than secondary school by the year 2029, and that lower-level education labor force will often be foreign.Unemployment rate among citizens, as the study indicated, predicted that the year 2031 would see the lowest rates of unemployment in the history of the emirate and would then rise gradually thereafter at slight rates, but would remain at natural rates. With regard to human capital Dr. Khaled El-Mattrawy reviewed the time series for of human capital during the period 1970-2012, which showed clear improvement in human capital stock, resulting from the employment of citizens. Dr. Abdul Aziz Istaitieh the Head of Economic Policy Planning Section at the Abu Dhabi Council for Economic Development, during the seminar, gave a presentation entitled Employment of Citizens in the Private sector… Opportunities and Challenges , in which he referred to the importance of federal and local decisions during the period (1980-2011), requiring the recruitment of nationals; stressing that despite all these efforts, however, citizens still constitute about 8.7% of total employment in the private sector in Abu Dhabi.Dr. Istaitieh provided some facts about emiratization in the private sector, stating that emiratization in trade sector reached 1.09%, while the percentage of citizens in insurance companies is 6.01% and that 4,000 citizens work as public relations. According to Dr Istaitieh, Abu Dhabi Tawteen Council helped in employing 4211 citizen during the same period.In this context, Dr. Istaitieh stressed the importance of the decision of the government of Abu Dhabi to the appointment of 6,000 citizens in government and semi-governmental entities in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, which enabled the Abu Dhabi Tawteen Council to employ 5,763 citizens recently. Dr. Istaitieh emphasized the importance of follow up the decisions issued between 2006 and 2008 on the emiratization of the posts of human resources directors, personnel administrators and managers in the private sector, as well as the emiratization of secretarial jobs in the private sector and also the recruitment of citizens with special needs.Dr. Istaitieh said that data indicates discrepancies between the requirements of the labor market and educational outcomes for citizens; where there is clear reluctance on the side of citizens enroll in certain disciplines, and their preference to other disciplines, which led to the stationing of a large proportion of citizens in some educational areas, especially the theoretical disciplines at the expense of scientific applications, which reflected negatively on the labor market in terms of the lack of appropriate skills to fill the diverse requirements of the labor market.According to the Abu Dhabi Tawteen Council there were about 13 000 people looking for jobs while statistics Centre data indicate that the number was about 10,000 unemployed.Dr. Istaitieh explained that the majority of the job seekers registered at Abu Dhabi Tawteen Council , are females and large part of them was not able to enter the labor market for reasons such as lack of suitable opportunities especially in Al Ain and the Western Region, in addition to other social and religious reasons. Data also suggests the difficulty of finding work for male citizens without university degrees; at the time when the percentage of a citizen who did not attend university education was about 9% of the total number students.Dr. Istaitie said that 92% of citizens in Abu Dhabi work in administrative and office positions, explaining that if the current distribution rates continued, the government and semi-government sector in Abu Dhabi will have to accommodate 352,000 citizens by 2030, or 4 times the current size.According to Dr. Istaitieh the reasons for the reluctance of citizens to work in the private sector; and the reasons for the reluctance of the private sector to recruit citizens, could be summarize in three main issues; the first is the financial incentives, the second is the in-kind benefits and the third is the environment and nature of the work; and that all these are catered for by the public sector than the private sector.Dr. Abdullah Al Beseher , Director of Strategic Planning and Development Programs at in Abu Dhabi Tawteen Council gave a presentation entitled Abu Dhabi Tawteen Council plan for Regulating the Labor Market,, in which he emphasized the Council's efforts over the years to promote emiratisation in the private sector and to effect Dhabi government decisions to realize the strategic plans and the Economic Vision 2030.In the second session of the seminar, Dr Duncan Lombard the Director of the Labor Market department and Dr. Aladdin Ali director of Strategic Affairs Office of the Abu Dhabi Education Council, elaborated on the education and the labor market strategy in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, shedding light on the Council's strategy aimed at promoting employment opportunities in scientific disciplines required by the labor market, especially on the productivity in sectors of energy, telecommunications, technology, financial services, higher education, industry, transport, tourism, health and other sectors identified the Abu Dhabi economic Vision 2030.Dr. Adel Al Amiri, the Executive Director of the Institute of Education and Vocational Training, gave a presentation entitled Vocational Education and Training and Labor Market Needs in which he highlighted the efforts and initiatives of the Institute, with a view to increasing the number of skilled young people working in rewarding jobs which give them opportunities of continuous learning, professional and personal development to achieve sustainability in emiratizing professional jobs. Al Amiri stressed the Institute's role in the organizing vocational and technical education institutions, and licensing of trainers and teachers who meet the requirements of the labor market in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and the UAE in general; and rendering support and consultancy to government and private institutions in the field of technical and vocational education, training and educational research in coordination with the Abu Dhabi Education Council. He also highlighted the Institute's role in development of strategies and establishing mutually beneficial partnerships with institutions and public and private educational bodies and training institutes.Dr. Mohamed Salman Al Hammadi, Director of Research Development in Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority gave a presentation, entitled Research and Labor Market Requirements… Reality and Challenges , in which he emphasized the importance of scientific research in promoting development, contributing to solving existing and foreseen problems and leading to cutting-edge technology.Dr. Al Hammadi highlighted the several strategic, financial, and cultural challenges that face scientific research in Abu Dhabi, and the UAE, as well as the t Arab world at large, most importantly the absence of a clear national strategy for scientific research, lack of financial support, weak partnerships between the private sector, universities and research centers, and the lack of labor market disciplines and national cadres. Dr. Al Hammadi explained that most of the challenges facing the labor market were mainly due to the lack of linkage between education and universities outcomes, the labor market needs and the requirements of scientific research; which lead to scarcity of specialized competencies in scientific research among citizens; where we lack of support and motivation prevails among graduates. In addition to the absence of governmental institutions concerned with nurturing of citizen researchers. Dr. Al Hammadi indicated that this contributed significantly to the low turnout on these areas, which no doubt has led to the weak output of scientific research. Dr. Al Hammadi recommended promoting research culture among citizens, diversifying sources of funding and financial support, strengthening ties between universities, government departments, research centers and the private sector. Linking universities to labor market needs; and providing incentives for competent and qualified citizens to fill in the need of research centers of these highly specialized fields.