Projects of the 50 : Why is Emiratisation More Important Now Than Ever

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Hana Abu Kharmeh, Human Resources Director, Serco Middle East

Hana Abu Kharmeh, Human Resources Director, Serco Middle East, commented: “As part of its Projects of the 50 announcement, the UAE government revealed its plan to invest big in Emiratis working or planning to join the private sector. With this great announcement, we can see that the number of nationals exploring and joining the private sector will increase drastically in the upcoming few months. The plan, which aims to strengthen the Emirati presence within private companies, will offer great opportunities for citizens which will enable them to gain international experience locally and work within different environments that will support them in gaining the skills and confidence required to excel, grow and finally be able to give back to their country and the economy.

It’s considered to be one of the most important performance indicators for the UAE’s vision in 2021, and at Serco we already see great focus from the Government on training and qualifying citizens in several fields in addition to issuing provisions and rules that regulate business and tasks and offering incentives to increase the number of highly skilled and qualified Emiratis in the workforce, especially in the private sector.

The use of expatriate expertise and workforces has supported the rapid growth of now-international hubs such as Dubai and Abu Dhabi, but the number of expats in the workforce vastly outnumbers Emiratis across the country. As such, nationalisation is a key activity that all businesses in the UAE need to dive into.

Here at Serco, nationalisation has always been a core part of our strategy. Real-life experience is invaluable, through processes such as Serco’s internship programme where we give students the chance to ‘try out’ working in different areas of our business over a six-week period, broadening their experience to the vast number of opportunities that are available in the private sector. Furthermore, Serco’s bespoke nationalisation and graduate programmes provide a framework for the continued training and development of nationals and offers a rotational programme, whereby graduates gain experience in functional, support and contract-based roles so they can find where they excel the most.

It is important to highlight that companies within the private sector should approach nationalisation in a way that not only meets the goals of their business, but truly invests in the nationals that they recruit. They also need to ensure that they develop the nationals they recruit and truly focus on building a future workforce and management team that consists of skilled, experienced and qualified nationals by providing the right training and support system.”