Ministry of Labour’s ‘streamline’ plans lead to training initiatives

Measures adopted by the Ministry of Labour & Social Affairs to streamline the labour market have resulted in an increase in foreign labour.

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By  Eudore Chand Published  January 13, 2004

Measures adopted by the Ministry of Labour & Social Affairs over the last three years to streamline the labour market have resulted in an increase in foreign labour within the UAE’s construction sector according to a top official. Dr. Khalid Mohammed Al Khazraji, under-secretary of the Ministry of Labour & Social Affairs, explained that contrary to public opinion, the recently implemented procedures have actually contributed to a 50% increase in the labour market since 2002 due to the economic boom in the UAE. Al Khazraji also revealed that the ministry was not planning to introduce amendments to existing measures aimed at regulating the country’s labour market. No changes will be made to legislation regarding sponsorship transfers, bank guarantees, emiratisation or regulations regarding the submission of secondary school certificates or equivalent documents being a prerequisite for private companies to recruit workers. As a result, the Ministry has asked the Research & Information Centre, affiliated to the National Human Resource Development & Employment Authority (Tanmia) to conduct a comprehensive study into the reasons behind the increase in the country’s labour market and the ministry’s labour and social affairs procedures. “This step aims at assessing the efficiency of the existing measures and determining whether there was a need for developing new procedures in the best interests of the local market,” said Dr. Al Khazraji. The ministry is also eager to reconstitute the employment visa committees on a biennial basis in order to guarantee a higher quality of service as well as expanding and modernising the department. “Developing the systems of the ministry depends on upgrading the standard of its employees. This has prompted the ministry to adopt the ‘Smart Square’ project initiated by Zayed University, which uses new technologies and modern systems alongside e-government concepts to help raise the efficiency of employees,” said Al Khazraji. The ‘Smart Square’ project was agreed and signed by Mattar Humaid Al Tayer, Minister of Labour & Social Affairs, and Shaikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education & Scientific Research and president of Zayed University. The deal focuses on increasing the productivity of the ministry’s staff as well as giving them planning and leadership skills, resulting in better services to the public.

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