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UAE Nationals Keen toBridge Gap Between Education and Job Requirements

Posted Tue 07 Aug 2012 11:43:57 am in News, Tourism & Hospitality | By News Desk

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·        Preliminary results of largestworkplace study QuduratTM  announced by Aon Hewitt

·        Despite ongoing efforts,Emirati’s continue to report lower levels of work engagement

·        Nationals report lower levels ofsatisfaction with their education to support their work preparedness


Dubai, 7th August 2012:UAE Nationals are keen to bridge the gap between their educational preparationand their actual job requirements, according to the preliminary findings of theground-breaking QuduratTM research, announced today by Aon Hewitt,the global human resources business of Aon plc (NYSE: AON).

QuduratTM is the largestworkplace study in the region, focused on the advancement of national talent,the single biggest HR issue in the region. QuduratTM – meaning‘capabilities’ in Arabic – is unprecedented in scope andscale, voicing the opinion of more than 20,000 employees across seven countries(UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain and Egypt). With final resultsexpected to be announced region-wide by December 2012, insights from the studyare expected to significantly impact HR practices and human capital developmentin the region.

The study was first launched in 2011, andproduced many counter-intuitive findings which surprised and challenged thepreconceptions employers had in the region about local talent and nationals inthe workforce. Among the most unexpected findings were that UAE Nationalsreported lower levels of engagement in the public sectors than they did in theprivate sector, and that less than half had confidence in the most seniorleadership in their respective organizations.

The preliminary results of thisyear’s report reveal that UAE Nationals are reporting a growingdisconnect between their job requirements and the preparation they havereceived for those requirements through their education, compared to foreignworkers. In addition, UAE nationals continue to report lower levels of workengagement than expatriates, which could impact their longer term motivation,performance and productivity at the workplace. The report shows similar resultsfor nationals across all seven countries involved in the study.

Commenting of these initial findings,Radhika Punshi, Aon Hewitt’s Head of Applied Research (MENA) said,“As the UAE’s and the region’s economy continues to recover,there will be a renewed and exponential growth focus on attracting, motivatingand retaining top talent within all industrial sectors, with a greater emphasison quality. However, more than ever before, there is a greater urgency foralignment and collaboration between the education system and the demand fromemployers, as an increasing number of young men and women seek opportunitiesfor positive and productive employment.”

“Our early findings point to apressing mismatch between education and employment, significantly impacting themotivation, expectations and preparedness of current and future employeestowards their jobs. On a more positive note, the fact that there is anawareness among UAE Nationals of this mismatch points towards a willingness toaddress this problem,” she added.

This year’s QuduratTMstudy already has over 15,000 responses from approximately 100 participatingorganizations in UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Egypt. Thefirst wave of the study, concluded last year had over 4,600 respondents intotal.

The study has also received strategicsupport through partnerships with a host of governmental organizations acrossthe participating countries, including Abu Dhabi Tawteen Council, whichspearheads the efforts of the Abu Dhabi government in sustainable Emiratiworkforce development; TECOM Investments in Dubai, a diversified conglomeratewith strategic investments in sectors that contribute to the development ofDubai's knowledge-based economy; Tamkeen Bahrain, which is tasked withsupporting Bahrain’s private sector and positioning it as the key driverof economic development; Bahrain’s Institute of Public Administration,which aims to enhance the skills and competencies of government employees inthe Kingdom, in addition to the American Chamber of Commerce Egypt and EgyptianHuman Resource Management Association.

“The response and willingnessdemonstrated from all stakeholders for the second wave of QuduratTMhas been absolutely overwhelming, which clearly points to the importance andurgency placed on this issue, by employees, organizations and policy makersalike,” said Markus Wiesner, Aon Hewitt’s CEO (MENA).“Through our on-going investment in the QuduratTM researchinitiative, we aim to provide the best advice and year on year monitoring oftalent trends, especially towards enhancing and shaping the nationalization andnational development mandate across the GCC and broader MENA region. With datafrom 20,000 Employees across the region, there is no other workplace study thisextensive in the Middle East.”

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