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09 May 2017
MBRSG’s Youth Circle Addresses Best Ways to Encourage More Emirati Youth Participation in the Private Sector

The Mohammed bin Rashid School of Government (MBRSG), in collaboration with the Emirates Youth Council, today hosted a Youth Circle that drew the participation of 150 young Emiratis. 

Under the theme ‘Empowering Emirati Youth in the Private Sector’, the event addressed the  current numbers of young UAE national graduates joining the workforce in the private sector, attempted to identify the best ways to reach the leadership’s vision in this sphere. 

The Youth Circle highlighted the importance of Emiratization with a focus on the fields and industries that need it most, and offered insights into the importance of inclusion of the young Emiratis in the private sector.
The event also explored the significance of entrepreneurship in encouraging young people to join the private sector. Small businesses constitute about 36.9 percent of companies operating in the UAE, while micro-enterprises account for 48 percent, indicating the important contribution of this sector to the success of the UAE economy as well as its potential for employing national workforce.

In addition, the discussion attempted to define a ‘quality opportunity’, both from the perspective of local youth looking for fulfilling and challenging roles that enable them to contribute to their community, and from the viewpoint of businesses seeking to engage young Emiratis. 
MBRSG presented key figures highlighting that the proportion of Emirati employees in the private sector currently stands at 1.14 percent, while the total number of UAE nationals in the workforce accounts for 3.39 percent of the five million workers across the country.  

His Excellency Dr Ali Sebaa Al Marri, Executive President of MBRSG, moderated the 90-minute session that drew the participation of top decision makers from the public and private sector. Among high-level representatives of UAE ministries were His Excellency Saqr Ghobash, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratization, Her Excellency Shamma bint Suhail Faris Al Mazrui, Minister of State for Youth Affairs, and His Excellency Nasser Thani Al Hamli, Undersecretary for Emiratization Affairs at the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization, and Mr. Zuhair Al Haj, Director of Human Resources and Localization for MENA at Al-Futtaim Group, represented the private sector best practices in this area.

For his part, His Excellency Saqr Ghobash said: “This initiative will help the next generation of Emiratis gain an unbiased view of the full spectrum of options and make informed decisions to shape not only their own future but the future of the whole nation.”
He added: “In addition to changing the youth’s perception of working in the private sector, the main challenge is aligning education outcomes with the demands of the labor market. We are confident that the private sector can provide quality jobs commensurate with the aspirations of young UAE nationals. We also believe that quality education equips young people with the tools and mindsets that will enable them to work across a variety jobs and fields.”

Her Excellency Shamma bint Suhail Faris Al Mazrui expressed her appreciation for the participation of His Excellency Saqr Ghobash, and commended MBRSG on the initiative and presented an overview of the most pressing current matters that affect not only young UAE nationals but the entire society at the social and economic level. She emphasized that confronting these concerns is a shared responsibility among all members of society. In addition, she encouraged young people to take the initiative to develop their skills and professional competences and to stay updated on the latest advancements in their areas of expertise.

Her Excellency Shamma bint Suhail Faris Al Mazrui added: “The under representation of young Emiratis in the private sector is a relatively recent phenomenon resulting from the rapid and comprehensive development the UAE has witnessed across multiple fields. The need of the hour is to identify communication barriers between the private sector and the youth, and prepare young people early on to enter fields that were previously overlooked, such as applied science and other disciplines that our country needs today.”

His Excellency Dr Ali Sebaa Al Marri said: "The government agenda places strategic importance on empowering youth. This Youth Circle is part of our concerted effort to bring together the young generation, the private sector and policy makers to come up with practical solutions that ensure more qualified Emiratis find their way into the private sector.”

Mr. Zuhair Al Haj, Director of Human Resources and Localization for MENA at Al-Futtaim Group, said: “There is a wealth of talent out there in terms of qualified and intelligent Emirati youngsters and it is important for firms operating in the region to consider this talent pool and to try and attract as many Emiratis as possible into the private sector.”
Maximizing community impact, Youth Circles provide forums for young UAE nationals to express their opinions on societal issues and policy matters, and serve as catalysts for youth leadership. Each Youth Circle seeks to answer one central question through action-oriented discussion resulting in youth-inspired recommendations.
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