UAE aims to phase out unqualified workers

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The UAE’s Ministry of Labour has announced it intends to replace unqualified labourers with skilled workers as part of its plans to modernise the country’s workforce.

Humaid bin Demas, the undersecretary of the ministry, revealed the government aims to have a workforce which has got at least a school-leaver’s certificate.

The Minister of Labour Saqr Ghobash last year said that half of the 3.9 million-strong workforce was unskilled and had no educational certificates. Most of the unqualified were among the 1.5 million employed in construction industry.

According to the new classification system which was introduced in January, the ministry will encourage companies to recruit Emiratis and skilled workers by offering them cheap labour cards and an exemption from the AED3,000-a-head labour insurance.

The Ministry of Labour official also added that no labourer would be brought in for a job that could be done by an Emirati. “This is being followed in Europe and America,” he insisted.

Authorities are hoping they would be able to check the validity of all incoming labourers’ qualifications by the end of this year.

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