Emiratis urged to learn new skills in crisis
Abu Dhabi, May 25, 2009
Young UAE job seekers have been told to consider alternative career paths and learn new skills in an effort to adapt to the changing environment created by the global economic crisis.
The Middle East Youth Initiative, a joint project of the US-based Wolfensohn Center for Development and the Dubai School of Government, pointed out that 25 per cent of 15-24 year olds in the UAE are currently unemployed, compared to a global average of 14 per cent.
In response, Feddah Lootah, acting general manager of Tanmia, the national human resource and development authority, has said that school leavers should opt for degrees in areas such as engineering and finance, which may be less popular but can offer them more employment opportunities upon graduation.
“The global economic crisis has resulted in massive jobs losses across the region and made it much more difficult for new job seekers to follow their chosen career paths,” said Lucy Clarke, exhibition director for Najah, a leading education, training and careers event in the region.
The third edition of Najah is being organised by IIR Middle East in Abu Dhabi from October 20 to 22.
More than 60 per cent of floor space has already been sold for Najah, which last year attracted more than 7,000 visitors, including students, parents, deans, training practitioners, coaching professionals, ministry and government personnel, HR directors and recruitment officers, she noted.
Clarke said all the options available to UAE job hunters of all ages will be spotlighted at Najah. “For many the best option may be to look towards different career opportunities and develop additional skills,' she stressed.
'And this is why it is so important in the current climate for the UAE to have a dedicated education, training and careers forum such as Najah,' she added.
The big names lined up for the event include Abu Dhabi University, Michigan State University in Dubai and Murdoch University, which has three campuses in Western Australia as well as international study centres in Malaysia, Singapore, Japan and Dubai.
For the first time this year the event will feature a new Education Conference which provides a platform for local and international educators to discuss trends and developments in the education sector.
Education remains a strong focus of the UAE Federal Government. While the sector is a vulnerable target for budget cuts during economically uncertain times, the UAE’s education budget has risen by 12 per cent in 2009, taking up almost a quarter of all spending, and reinforcing the value of learning.
Besides encouraging students to embrace higher education, Najah also caters to those in employment and helps them to realise their potential through career advancement and training.
The event is used by leading businesses in the region to launch recruitment drives and is also highly valued by training companies, research and development organisations and management consultants.
As businesses throughout the world trim their workforces and streamline operations to increase efficiency and lower costs, more businesses in the UAE are seeing the benefits of in-house training, professional development and employee motivation to increase employee productivity.
A recent Towers Perrin report found that 70 per cent of top management representatives plan to motivate and re-energise staff, strengthening the link between employee engagement and business performance.
Training companies in the region have the opportunity to access thousands of professionals seeking career development courses, and human resource managers looking to introduce comprehensive training programmes to their businesses.
Furthermore, Najah will host a new training conference called TrainME, aimed at high level training professionals from all industries, she added.-TradeArabia News Service