The UAE has initiated a pilot launch of a training program aimed at Emirati students from the ninth grade through the final year of their higher education. This “professional and practical training program” is designed to enhance Emiratis’ integration into the private sector.
The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) has announced that the pilot phase will run for one year, involving 3,500 students at various stages of their education. Following this initial phase, the program will gradually expand over five years to encompass all students from the ninth grade onward.
Aisha Belharfia, acting undersecretary for Emiratisation Affairs and assistant undersecretary for Labor Affairs at the MoHRE, stated that “the program aims to expand career prospects for targeted students, familiarizing them with the fundamentals of work and underlining the important role the private sector plays and the opportunities it has to offer.”
The program comprises two tracks: a ‘General’ track covering high schools and a ‘Professional’ track encompassing all stages of secondary and post-secondary education. In collaboration with private sector companies, the program provides weekly financial incentives to students nominated by academic institutions.
This initiative aligns with the government’s efforts to shape Emiratis’ perceptions of the private sector from an early age while building their expertise, allowing them to find suitable career opportunities that align with their academic paths.
The goal is to increase the participation of Emirati citizens in the private sector, strengthening connections between Emirati students and private companies, facilitating skill transfers, enhancing professional relationships, and offering employment prospects. Moreover, it seeks to align education with the requirements of the private sector.
“The program offers an opportunity for students in the target group to develop the skills and experience needed to qualify for the best professional opportunities in the private sector,” noted the MoHRE official. “It aims to create balance and harmony between the education system and the labor market, ultimately supplying the private sector with qualified young UAE professionals with tremendous potential for success in various fields.”