As the UAE working population ages, questions arise on around how to fill the many empty jobs that new industries are looking to create. The answer might be in the young talents that are now getting ready to enter the workforce. Today, the challenge is the significant percentage (stands at 34%) of the population that, under the age of 25, is not gainfully employed. The focus is on overcoming the youth employment crisis, fulfil young people’s aspirations and harness these work-ready Emirati talents.
Emirati between the ages of 18 to 21 years can start working, subject to several conditions regarding working hours and conditions, as per the UAE Labour Law. Many companies have come to rely on a Dubai-based intern recruitment portal InternsME( that was rebranded Oliv.com), an online career platform, that connects students and graduates in the U.A.E. to employers for internships, part-time positions and entry-level jobs. This has helped in tackling the youth unemployment by facilitating career support for the younger generation. “The startup is also introducing Oliv Academy, which consists of free video courses to nurture youth talent and assist with improving their applications. It also has a built-in messaging feature to manage communications and make launching careers more personal,” says CEO Jean-Michel Gauthier.
The UAE capital is finally putting the region’s youth – an important asset – at the forefront of employment. This involves adolescence preparing themselves in building their future. Abu Dhabi has come up with new strategies aimed at generating young entrepreneurs and promote the culture of investment among youth by allowing them to have work experience sooner with the chance to work during their high school years. These occupations take the shape of part-time summer job or are held through temporary work permits. In addition, the Emirate has invested heavily in improving the educational environment in a bid to produce graduates better suited for industry sector jobs. This is helping young people become productive workers using their talents, creativity, and experiences to be competitive in today’s knowledge-based economy.
Another job outlet is the Education for Employment (EFE), the leading youth employment organization in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) that has connected thousands of adolescences – young women and men – to the world of work by means of job placement, entrepreneurship programs, and short-term trainings that help prepare youth for the workforce in the future. EFE’s network has successfully been connecting youth to jobs through a partnership model with high-impact partners and empowering Emirati youth to pursue their first employment or move closer towards their career goals so they can achieve the right skills, drive and opportunities, said Dima Najim, UAE Managing Director, EFE-Global, which commented that, “Emirati youth are one of the UAE’s most precious resources and EFE helps bridge the talent gap in the MENA region by tackling youth unemployment having developed targeted preparation programs that involves training a workforce of skilled employees ready to work from day one to build communication skills, polish his or her CV and learn how to ace a job interview for those businesses seeking to recruit young talent.”
Jasmine Nahhas di Florio, senior vice president for strategy and partnerships at EFE, told Khaleej Times that “most companies are hesitant to hire young workers – even when they have the relevant skills – and many youth are unwilling to pursue other employment options, or do not know how.” EFE fills the gap by helping youth fulfill their aspirations.
Emirates Foundation, an independent organization set up by the Government of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, also provides a comprehensive range of programs aimed at empowering, inspiring and supporting a strong, successful youth society. Emirates Foundation for Youth Development is focused on encouraging the early adoption of skills from development projects that provide a gateway to career success. This undoubtedly can accelerate progress in support of the youth employment agenda for decades to come.