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Abu Dhabi Department of Economy recommends introduction of economic disciplines to meet the labor market needs and focus on SMEs Emiratization

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Abu Dhabi Department of Economy recommends introduction of economic disciplines to meet the labor market needs and focus on SMEs Emiratization

Sunday, May 08, 2011
The study conducted by the Department of Economic Development entitled The Future Labor Market and Job Selection, recommended that education curriculum must include core courses and specialties to cope with future requirements and  serve the market trends in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, stating that Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, presents a viable example, the study called for introducing specialties such as real estate management, stock market management, nuclear engineering, medical equipment engineering, and space science. This would help in creating educated top-notch cadres of national graduates, capable of serving in new areas of work and addressing problems in sectors which need sufficient experience, coping with anticipated economic diversification, achieving the objectives of Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030in economic and transferring into a sustainable knowledge-based economy.   The study recommended linking higher education scholarships abroad, with the needs of the labor market, and the development of priority areas and rare specialties needed by the local labor market, to best utilize qualified nationals to serve the development process, consistent with the latest global advancement. These issues were highlighted in the seminar on the subject of study conducted by Dr. Hala Saleh the Senior Researcher at the Studies Directorate of the Department of Economic Development.  The seminar was held in Al Muntaha Secondary School for Girls in Mussafah, and was attended by over 114 students and a number of students parents. Mariam Siddiq Al Mansouri, the Director Al Muntaha School, said that the vision of Abu Dhabi Education Council aims at having graduate students with world-class standards, equipped with abilities and qualifications that enable them to cope with global challenges, in consistency with the economic vision for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi 2030, which seeks to achieve an economy based on knowledge. This prompts the solid partnership between the educational systems in the emirate and the strategic sectors such as industry, trade and tourism, so as to supply the needs of the labor market for specialized national cadres to spur the state's surge to shift towards a knowledge economy. Al Mansouri, noted that the Al Muntaha Secondary School, for its part seeks to enhance communication with community institutions, including the Department of Economic Development, to contribute to the awareness of her students and their parents on the needs of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi labor market; and to direct its students towards the future disciplines required by the labor market.     For her part, Ms. Hanaa Hamad Al Kaabi, Chairman of the Committee on Human Development at Al Muntaha School, said that this lecture and seminar comes within the framework set by Abu Dhabi Education Council to emphasize the role of the educational environment, and its three pillars: the students, the parents and the community. Ms Hanaa added that the seminar stresses the role of social responsibility of the educational entities in the Emirate.   Hanaa al Kaabi added that this seminar raises the awareness of high school students and their parents about the future opportunities available in the emirate, in line with the strategy of Abu Dhabi Education Council in accordance with the public policy agenda of the Emirate, pointing out that the Committee on Human Development in the school has developed within its agenda of events, the organizing of 19 activities in various fields during the academic year 2010 - 2011.In her presentation to the students, Dr. Hala Saleh said that the findings of the study prepared by the Economic Studies Section confirm the importance of thinking about a new system of education to enable the transition into the third industrial revolution. Dr. Hala pointed out that the rapid development of infrastructure in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and the State at large will provide much of jobs that need intensive and comprehensive retraining of employees and labor force. The seminar addressed girl students and parents, emphasizing focusing on the role of the family and its responsibility towards preparing their sons and daughters in the basic stage, and although to high school; as this is crucial for the formulation and instating of the student's personality, and thus his desire and will to choose his own sphere of interest; and determine their future, his practical and professional life.   Dr. Hala said, It is important that the process of vocational guidance for school students start at an early age, so that the student can select the appropriate specialization which suits his capabilities, and enables him to follow the professional field which he wants to join after graduation.According to Dr. Hala Saleh, the study has also recommended that plans for future projects should be specified by the competent authorities, with intension to coordinate orienting students at stages of early age to set towards required future fields. The researcher   recommended developing an appropriate mechanism for harmonization between educational institutions and major economic sectors, to bridge the gap between educational outputs and labor market requirements, resulting from the lack of coordination between planning in the education sector and planning in the labor market, or the sectors of the economy in general. D. Hala said that there is an urgent need to prepare young citizens to enter the labor market, by sensitizing them with respect to the timeliness and value of the work; urging them to take responsibility and encouraging them to work during their school vacation in order to familiarize themselves with the labor market prior to graduation. Young people should be encouraged to work in small and medium enterprises, especially after the growing role of the Khalifa Fund to develop projects, following the raising of its capital, and the opening of new branches to serve citizens in all emirates of the country. Dr. Hala added that the most important recommendations of the study include giving incentives to students and graduates of scientific disciplines, such as doctors, pharmacists, engineers, nuclear scientists and specialists, semiconductors specialists and space scientists; particularly   that a significant proportion of students expressed their interest in these fields, according to the poll questionnaire, conducted on a sample of 200 secondary school students in this study. The lecturer stressed that women privacy should be taking into account in labor laws to attract more female workers, mentioning that the fall in the participation of national women could be an important factor behind the decline in the ratio of the total national labor force participation, especially in targeted sectors; where there is still a challenge in women's participation in some activities related to industry and construction. Dr Hala presentation for students and their parents reviewed the most important results of the study of Department of Economic Development, where she referred to the increasing numbers of expatriates, the imbalance in the demographic structure, where the number of expatriates increased in relation to the total population, as they constituted about 75% during the period 2001-2009. The expatriate labor force accounted for nearly 70% of the total number of expatriate population, while national manpower comprised 25% of the total number of national population in 2008. The results of the study revealed that colleges' graduates in theoretical disciplines outnumber the graduates of applied science disciplines. The largest percentage of national employment concentrates on service activities at the expense of productive activities; whereas the private sector accounted for the largest proportion in the size of demand for labor compared to the joint sector and local government, which hit 97.8%, despite the fact that the percentage of actual employment in government and local sectors, far exceeds the percentage of employment in the private sector. One of the main results of the poll revealed by the study is the increase in the number of arts students, which amounted to about 74%; while the percentage of applied sciences students constituted 26% of the total number of surveyed students. Two faculties, namely the Management and Economics; and the Faculty of Law accounted for 35% of the total demand for university education, while the share of scientific discipline colleges appeared to be lower.     In response to the question about the reason for choosing their colleges; the option selected according to the interest in the specialization, accounted for the largest percentage of 65%, followed by option career ambition with 23%, which is considered as low percentage when compared to the other options, which got the higher percentages. Regarding the preference of students to universities; the (public universities) seemed more preferred by 65% of the total of students.In response to ambitions after graduation, 40% of the students opted for (a government job) the highest percentage among other options. The students opinion about the type of incentives that could be offered by the Government to attract them to certain disciplines, showed that 52% went for the option (ensuring a job after graduation), which is a percentage similar to those who selected the option (a government job) in the previous question. This confirms that the majority of students who wish to work after graduation, aim at getting a government job.  In answer to the question about the preferred areas of work, financial services and media constituted the most preferred areas of work, attracting 13.3% and 13.8% respectively, followed by communications services, and education with 6.7% and 5.8% respectively. All of these areas fall under the regional market focus sectors. At the level of the global market target sectors, renewable energy came in first place by 9.3%, followed by tourism, and medical equipments and services by 8.9% for each. The answer to question about sector in which the father works shoed that that 39% of the fathers work for the local government, and 35% work for the federal government. Fathers in both sectors represent a high proportion of approximately 74% who work for the government. This in turn, confirms the previous questions (the aspirations of the students after graduation), and (Government incentives to attract students to the new disciplines); for which two major options were getting a government job 40%, and to securing a job after graduation 52%. With regards to the sector where mothers work; the largest percentage opted for the option other most of who were housewives. A small percentage stated it as private work, followed by the option (local government) at 10%, confirming that UAE nationals prefer working for the government sector and local levels as mentioned earlier
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