Training and Development Of Fresh College Graduates of UAE Essay Sample

Training and Development Of Fresh College Graduates of UAE Pages
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ABSTRACT

     Mainly, this study seeks to propose a development program for the fresh college graduates of the United Arab Emirates. As such, the following research questions were answered:

  1. To identify the factors that contributes or hampers the development of fresh college graduates in the United Arab Emirates, and
  2. To propose a development program for the fresh college graduates of the United Arab Emirates.

          The economy of the UAE is fast growing and becoming more competitive globally. There are many major and local companies joining manufacturing, construction, tourism, banking, telecommunications, etc. The future of the UAE’s economy is very promising and there is a need to develop its own human capital to compete strategically in the world market. There is a a need to develop its fresh college graduates and harness them to become world class managers and entrepreneurs. As such, a managerial development program for its fresh graduates is needed. Also, another option is an entrepreneurship development program for them.

     The emiratisation policy of the UAE government is a contributing factor to training and development of fresh college graduates because this encourages them that they will later handle key positions in major companies in their country. Also, a contributing factor is that there is an existing funding program that provides capital for those graduates who wants to be entrepreneurs.

     The attitude of UAE fresh college graduates of not accepting starting low positions and low salaries is a factor that impedes their development. Finally, another impeding factor is that the economy and industrialization of UAE is currently dependent upon a dominant majority of expatriates who managed and control technology in the country. Finally, the recommendation focused on having a training and development plan for fresh college graduates of UAE.

Chapter 1

INTRODUCTION

BACKGROUND

     One of the main obstacles in building the national human resources that will replace the expatriates in a country like UAE is the way training and developing the fresh graduates is planned and implemented. If the graduates are not inducted carefully into work place and trained and developed appropriately in their careers, the ultimate result is that the young graduates will jump from one ship (i.e. employer) to another until they eventually fail in releasing their potentials and developing themselves in a career and finally end up doing what they think is the easiest job – supervising others. However, supervising is only easy as they regard it; but it is in fact one the most difficult jobs that require a lot of knowledge and skills.

     Introducing young graduates into workplaces by celebrity induction programs is the beginning of failure in developing the fresh graduates. A professional approach to development programs are usually based on careful needs analysis compared with target job descriptions. Receiving fresh graduates with celebrations and parties in the end leads to employers and employees rejecting training programs. While the excuse of employers is that it is a waste of money and time, the employees agree with them only to bypass putting in effort into learning and climbing the ladder step by step. However, it is certain that money spent on training is valuable investment.

     An expert in training and development, Martin Croft (2007) explains:

      “Training is all too often dismissed by both employer and employee alike as a      waste of time and money. But nothing could be further from the truth: money spent on training staff should have a direct and positive impact on the bottom line, because well-trained staff not only are able to perform their jobs better, they will also be more motivated and less likely to start looking to jump ship and join another company” (Martin Croft, 2007)

     Graduates joining their development jobs should be given the opportunity to face the challenges of these jobs and the skills they require. Employers should provide support and help by identifying their strengths and weaknesses and hence their training needs. Providing genuine opportunities for exploring their careers is an important aspect of designing successful development programs:

Another variable that influences aspects of career motivation and behavior is career exploration. It includes mental or physical activities which elicit career-related information about oneself or the environment (Super and Hall, 1978).

     In this thesis, the problems and difficulties that are encountered in designing development programs for fresh graduates in United Arab Emirates will be investigated. The paper will mainly aim at proposing a planning project that will also include the implementation steps.

OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

  1. To identify the factors that contributes or hampers the development of fresh college graduates in the United Arab Emirates; and
  2. To propose a development program for the fresh college graduates of the United Arab Emirates.

STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

     In the main, this study seeks to propose a development program for the fresh college graduates of the United Arab Emirates. As such, the following research questions will be answered:

  1. What are the factors that contribute to the development of fresh college graduates in the United Arab Emirates? and
  2. What are the factors that impede the development of fresh college graduates in the United Arab Emirates? 

HYPOTHESIS

     A development program in the areas of management development, entrepreneurship development, and job attitude that considers both the needs of fresh college graduates and firms based in the United Arab Emirates will prepare them to be more ready for professional work in the various companies or be prepared for entrepreneurship.

METHODOLOGY

     The approach to this research project will be a literature review to identify the problems and difficulties encountered earlier and the suggested solutions in the literature. These findings in the literature will be critically analyzed in order to propose a development program.

 STRUCTURE OF THE STUDY

      This study will be organized into six chapters. The first chapter will be the introductory chapter which will discuss the background of the study, objectives of the study, the statement of the problem, hypothesis, methodology, and the structure of the study. Chapter 2 will discuss the review of literature and Chapter 3 will present the profile of the economy of the United Arab Emirates so as to evaluate the needs of the economy and business of the country and its relevance to the fresh college graduates.

     Chapter 4 will present the discussion and analysis of the factors that contributes and hampers the development of fresh college graduates in the United Arab Emirates. Finally, Chapter 5 will conclude the study and presents the recommended development plan.

Chapter 2

REVIEW OF LITERATURE

HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT: AN OVERVIEW

     The function of training and development is part of the field of human resource management which is defined as the strategic and coherent approach to the management of people in organizations (Armstrong, 2006).

     The concept of human resource management is based on the assumption that employees are individuals with various goals and needs and therefore should not be thought of as basic business resources such as buildings and machineries. This area of study takes a view that is positive about people in organizations and as such employees to be productive must be trained because of lack of knowledge and skills. The goal of human resource management is to help companies to meet their strategic goals by attracting and maintaining employees and to effectively manage them. As such the functions of this field are as follows: a) recruitment of new employees, b) training and development of both new and old employees, c) provide adequate employee compensation and benefits, and d) maintaining and managing the employees to become productive members of the organization (Ibid).

HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT

     Human Resource Development (HRD) focused on the training and development of employees in an organization. As such, in terms of recruitment and selection, it is essential to consider conducting a  thorough job analysis in order to determine the level of technical abilities,  competencies, attitude and flexibility of employees (Karen, 2004).

     Also, it is important to consider both external and internal factors that can have an impact on the training and recruitment of employees. The external factors include issues such as current and future trends of the labor market e.g. skills, education level, government investment into industries, etc. Internal factors are easier to control and this include management styles and organizational culture (Ibid).

      Even though a manager carefully recruits and selects employees, they could not bring with them in their new jobs with all the necessary knowledge, skills and abilities. It is important that new recruits should be trained to reach their potential. Training and development is an investment in people which will benefit both the employer and employee. Each company must

have a plan for training. The plan should integrate the creation of a learning climate that is positive. The reinforcement of the following assumptions for both the trainer and trainee would help create an excellent learning climate (Towers, 2007).

  • All employees can learn.
  • Learning should be made an active process.
  • Learners need and want guidance and direction.
  • Learning should be sequential.
  • Learners need time to practice.
  • Learning should be varied to avoid boredom.
  • Learners gain satisfaction from their learning.
  • Correct learner behavior should be reinforced.
  • Learning does not occur at a steady rate.

     Training new employees offers management a means to increase employee effectiveness. As such, a culture of employee training and development should be nurtured in organizations (Ibid). 

Renewed Interest in Fresh College Graduates

     Companies are showing renewed interest in fresh college graduates in the United States. For years, these young people have experienced frustrating difficulty finding stimulating well-compensating jobs after graduation. Many employers that had traditionally conducted on-campus interviews have been missing and the interest in fresh graduates has been unusually low (Herman, 2004).

     However, the trend is changing, employers are indicating renewed interest in college seniors, and they are putting extra efforts from students to start a career with them. Employers are beginning to realize that they are on the verge of a serious labor shortage. As these companies build and activate their employment strategies, recent college graduates are part of their mix of targets for a balance, diverse workforce (Ibid).

      As Herman (2004) writes:

Technology issues challenge more and more employers. To address these issues and stay on the leading edge, wise employers want to hire people who are technologically oriented, who are comfortable with creative design and change, and who can help lead the organization in a more technological future. The young people coming out of college today are significantly more electronically-oriented than their predecessors. Fresh ideas and the challenge of old ideas are important at strategic, tactical and operational levels of organizations. Today’s college students are learning to collaborate, to question the status quo, and to look for new and different ways to get things done (Herman, 2004).

     As such, employers are learning that fresh college graduates are more oriented in new technologies compared to their older versions. They know that fresh graduates can easily learn to be flexible as part of today’s life styles and the ability to adapt easily and quickly to the dynamics of corporate life in this new decade.

The Need for Training and Development of Fresh College Graduates at the UAE

     The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is going through a paradigm shift from human resources to human capital management (Khaleej Times, 2005). According to the Khaleej Times (2005)“The region’s corporate world is going through a paradigm shift in the way it manages its people, thanks to the development in the science of human capital management (Ibid).” According to  Yahya Abdulla Al Marzouqi, a leading senior human resources development professional in the UAE and Training and Development Manager of Borouge (part of the ADNOC Group) said:

People are the most crucial capital in all organizations that are eager and enthusiastic to maintain a competitive edge in the market. It is only through people that organizations reach higher limits. Therefore, we need to shift from the typical human resources notion to human capital. In the current business world, one thing remains constant and that is change (Khaleej Times, 2005).”

     As such, there is now a shift in the trend in recruiting and managing people at the UAE which is a change from human resources to human capital. This is a signal to the significance of training and developing fresh college graduates of the UAE prior to employment.

     Discussing about the objectives of the Training and HR Breakfast Club, Dr. Abdulla Al Karam, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Knowledge Village said:

Human development professionals have a key role in corporate success because in today’s competitive world, human capital makes the difference between progress and failure…Through our Club, we are seeking to bring a host of senior human-development decision makers and thinkers to drive a discussion that will contribute to the development of this field (Khaleej Times, 2005).

A majority of UAE national graduates are women and the government’s priority is to provide them jobs (Khaleej Times, 2005). According to Shaikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, the Minister of Education:

The majority of UAE national graduates are females and securing career opportunities for them is a priority. Women graduates must know that we are committed to providing them with excellent education and training programmes which is one of our most important goals (Khaleej Times, 2005).

     On the major challenges facing fresh UAE graduates in joining the workforce, Shaikh Nahyan further stated:

On joining the workforce, the UAE nationals face unfair competition from employees of various nationalities, who are earning comparatively lower salaries. Fresh UAE national graduates with no prior work experience have certain expectations regarding salary and benefits and finds it hard to compete with their counterparts of other nationalities (Khaleej Times, 2005).

     Al Nahyan noted that unemployment among UAE nationals is unacceptable in a country that depends heavily on expatriate workforce. As such, he said: “The UAE nationals should enter the private sector and should meet their employers’ needs and expectations (Ibid).”

     According to Al Nahyan, it is important to establish an important data base through which data and information on different careers and job openings are available to UAE students and through which the credentials of individual students are presented to employers. He also stressed that the government and the private sector must work together to promote entrepreneurship as a career option for the graduates. National graduates should be encouraged to own and manage

their own companies due to the fact that small firms have started to play a significant economic role in the country (Ibid).

     According to Financial Times Ltd. (2003), the Mohammed bin Rashid Establishment for Young Business Leaders has launched its Graduate Fund program to assist fresh graduates from various learning institutions in the country.

     This program has been developed as a result of an agreement which the Establishment signed with Sheikh Nahayan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Higher Education and the Scientific Research and Chancellor of the UAE University.

     The Graduate Fund Program is aimed at alumni and graduating Business Administration students from the Higher Colleges of Technology, the Zayed University and United Arab Emirates University. Under the scheme, those who graduate from the targeted institutions will be encouraged to submit their business plans to the Establishment for possible funding (Financial Times Ltd., 2003).

     This agreement has a budget allocation of Dh150 million initial but the fund’s total allocation would be Dh750 million.

     According to Abdulaziz Al Sawaleh, Chief Human Resources Officer, Etisalat, said:

  • Etisalat acknowledges the importance of participating in developing national employees in Telecommunications. Etisalat has created employment opportunities for UAE nationals through a series of training courses for graduates, diploma holders and for high school graduates…Etisalat has been able to achieve an Emiratisation percentage that is considered one of the highest in the country. Today, UAE nationals hold more than 44% of the total number of positions within Etisalat representing more than 4000 employees, and nationals constitute over 72% in the senior management  (Unithttp://www.ameinfo.com/113073.htmled Arab Emirates: 2007).

     Etisalat also provides three different training courses with different specializations. The first course is to attract fresh college graduates and provide them with training for 15 months within the company. This course will provide them with more specialized training, and they will be employed based on whether their specialization is managerial or technical (Ibid).

Emiratisation Policy

     A policy of the United Arab Emirates is to replace expatriate workers with nationals in key jobs is now being gradually enforced in the country. This policy requires all major companies to hire only citizens as public relations officers (PROs) or these companies will be ordered to cease business (Unithttp://www.ameinfo.com/113073.htmled Arab Emirates: 2007) . Since the

February deadline, 1500 nationals have been hired by the big private companies as PROs, as the first stage of the ‘emiratisation’ policy. Oil-rich but population-short UAE has depended heavily on expatriates for its development. Presently, out of a population of about four million, an overwhelming 3.3 million are nationals (Ibid).

     Mohammed Javed, a Pakistani businessman inSharjah is bothered by this policy and many companies were clearly displeased with the enforcement. He stated: “Nationals will never be willing to work for expatriate wages…most often, if they don’t like work, they’ll quit, and we end up spending time and money training other people, and our work gets affected (Ibid).”

     According to statistics released by Tanmia, there are at least 33,000 unemployed UAE nationals  and that at least 15,000 national university graduates enter the job market every year (Ibid). Some job entrants had misgivings too. Zahraa Al Hamad, a fresh college graduate stated:

“I took this job as the last resort and because it is now available to us easily. It will take me at least a year, however, to get used to the job requirements and to see if it suits my interests and to prove myself. I have been offered a salary of 4,000 dirhams (around 1,095 dollars). It is a bit too low, but something is better than nothing. But I am not sure if I will stick on – if I get a better opening in any other profession then I may just grab that (Ibid).

     The attitude of the nationals had caused great losses to some companies since they quit after a few months and this had damaged many companies (Ibid).

     On the one hand, an example of a company that conducts training and development programs for local fresh college graduates is BNP Paribas. This company is a leading international bank which has announced the commencement of the BNP Paribas Gulf Graduate Development Program. This program is a recruitment, integration, training and career management program designed for local graduates of UAE. Mr. Frederick Poquet, Deputy Regional Secretaire General

of BNP Paribas said: “We offer local graduates the opportunity to embark on a dynamic career involving a wide range of activities and functions at our bank. The BNP Paribas Gulf Graduate

Development Program is implemented in all our offices in the Gulf region under our regional coordination with the New York Institute of Technology, the University College of Bahrain, and the Bahrain University, we will enlarge this selection to other universities in the other G.C.C. Countries ( Al Bawaba , www.albawaba.com, 2006).”

     Around 30 applicants were interviewed by officers of BNP Paribas during the months of May and June and 11 local candidates were chosen. The trainees were given a permanent contract at a competitive remuneration package. The objectives of the program are to attract the most outstanding local graduates, provide them with exposure to prestigious international bank, develop local talent and potential and finally to create a pool of Gulf-experienced professionals (Ibid).

Chapter 3

THE ECONOMY OF THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

     The United Arab Emirates has an economy that is highly industrialized which makes it as one of the most developed in the world based on socio-economic indicators such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita, energy consumption per capita, and the Human Development Index. The GDP per capita is currently ranked number three in the world since its GDP of $168 billion in 2006 with a country whose population is only four million would speak for itself (CIA World Fact Book, 2007).

     Aside from GDP, other available statistics would indicate that the United Arab Emirates today has one of the fastest growing economies in the world. In a recent report by the Ministry of Finance and Industry, real GDP grew by 35 percent in 2006 to $175 billion as compared with $130 billion in 2005. These impressive growth figures imply that the United Arab Emirates had the fastest growing real GDP globally between 2005 and 2006. Its GDP composition by sector which indicates that industry captured 62.7% share of it while agriculture has only 2% and services 35.2% (CIA World Fact Book, 2007).

    The UAE is becoming less dependent on petroleum and natural gas exports and there is a massive construction boom, a growing manufacturing base, and a developed services sector which is helping the economy of UAE to diversify. There is currently an investment on construction projects in the country valued at $350 billion (Ibid).

     According to the CIA World Fact Book (2007) report on the UAE economy:

The UAE has an open economy with a high per capita income and sizable annual trade surplus. Despite largely successful efforts at economic diversification, about 30% of GDP is still directly based on oil and gas output, and the fortunes of the economy fluctuate with the prices of those commodities. Since the discovery of oil in the UAE more than 30 years ago, the UAE has undergone a profound transformation from an impoverished region of small desert principalities to a modern state with a high standard of living. The government has increased spending on job creation and infrastructure expansion and is opening up its utilities to greater private sector involvement. In April 2004, the UAE signed a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) with Washington and in November 2004 agreed to undertake negotiations towards a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the U.S. Higher oil revenue, strong liquidity, and cheap credit in 2005-06 led to a surge in asset prices (shares and real estate) and consumer inflation. Rising prices are increasing the operating costs for businesses in the UAE and degrading the UAE’s allure to foreign investors. Dependence on a large expatriate workforce and oil are significant long-term challenges to the UAE’s economy (Ibid).

     The UAE controls roughly 10 percent of the world’s supply of oil and almost 5 percent of the world’s proven natural gas reserves. The production of oil and gas provides about one third of the GDP of the country (Javendafar: http://www.meepas.com/UAEeconomicsnapshot.htm, 2007).

     Meir Javendafar (2007) explains the strength of the UAE’s economy:

Although the UAE’s economy has been based mainly on the export of oil and gas, nevertheless the UAE government has been implementing several plans as means of diversifying the economy. The new industries which have been created as part of this plan include: Construction, Information Technology, Finance, Manufacture of consumer goods, and Tourism. Another industry which has been part of the government’s diversification strategy has been the establishment of re-export centers and Free Trade Zones. Such areas offer various incentives to investors such as the right to 100% foreign ownership and the absence of taxes and absence of import and export duties. As a result, the UAE government has managed to make this industry into another major source of income for the country. Other smaller industries include Agriculture and Fisheries (Javendafar, 2007).

     As such, the economy of the UAE is diversifying into other industries such that it will not be dependent on oil and natural gas.

     Also, the country is going through a major breakthrough in its goal in becoming a major financial center in the region through the creation of the “Dubai International Financial Center – DIFC.” The government aims to expand the size and reputation of DIFC as to be of equal level to that of London and New York (Ibid).

    The results of the diversification strategy of UAE has been successful and it made the country less dependent oil from 70% to estimates ranging from 30-50%.

     On the competition front, the country continues to rank favorably when gauged by various indices or competitiveness and business climate indicators. Thus, fostered by an outward-oriented and streamlined regulatory environment, the attractiveness of UAE as an option for foreign direct investments has increased. This is indicated in its latest rankings which is contained in the Global Competitiveness Report 2006-2007 (Global Research, 2007).

     As Global Research (2007) reports:

UAE is among the most competitive countries in the world and a haven for businesses as it has consolidated its international and regional position in the Growth Competitiveness Index (GCI) for 2006. Out of 125 countries, UAE ranked 32nd in the world as per GCI. Regionally, UAE enjoys the second rank in the MENA countries as well as, it is the highest ranked in the gulf region. Finally, UAE ranked number 31st according to WEF Business Competitiveness Index (BCI) that ranks countries by their microeconomic competitiveness (Global Research, 2007).

Population and Labor Force    

     In terms of population and labor force, UAE had one of the highest population growth rates in the world. Population has been growing steadily at an average of 7.4% for the period 2000-2004. The official estimated figures for 2004 reported population at 4.32 million. However, the new 2005 population, housing and establishments census reported a decline in population. According to the census preliminary results, UAE total population reached 3.769 million but this does not include groups of non-nationals estimated at 335,615 that were excluded from the census. As such, UAE total population stood at 4.105 million by the end of 2005 (Ibid).

     UAE is characterized with a severe skewness towards non-nationals. According to 2005 census, expatriate workers represented 78.1% of total population. Another major characteristic of UAE demographic profile is that males continue to outnumber females for the total population. By the end of 2005 the gender distribution was 67.6% males and 32.4% females. This is due to the fact that almost 72.3% of the non-nationals are males since most expatriate laborers do not earn the minimum AED4000 per month required to bring their families into the country.

     The booming economy brought with it a slew of employment opportunities in the last two years. Generally, construction, manufacturing and trade accounted for majority of the employment. However, the construction industry is a major source for job creation that accounted for almost 20% of employment opportunities (Ibid)..

Unemployment Among Nationals Rising

     Unemployment among UAEs nationals became a major concern recently as it exceeds 10%. As such, it is important for the government to encourage private sector among nationals to overcome the unemployment threat. Based on historical record, the economy created 177,000 jobs per annum on average for the period 1999-2004 while the average annual increase in national labor force stood at 18,000. This implies that job creation was more than sufficient to absorb the new entrants to the labor force. However, unemployment among nationals increased gradually from 7.6% in 1999 to around 11.4% in 2004 (Ibid).

     Major changes need to be taken in order to increase nationals employment in the private sector. These changes many include controlling increases in government wages and benefits to narrow the gap between public and private sector wages. Also, developing nationals to acquire more marketable skills through education and training through ongoing programs is important.

     As regard to the emiratisation policy of the government, Global Research (2007) further reports:

Historically, UAE is known to be one of the most liberal labour markets in the Gulf. However, recent unemployment pressures regarding national labour force pushed the government to for its emiratisation program imposing new restrictions on the employment of expatriates. According to a new directive issued by the Ministry of Labour in June 2006 – all companies local and international with more than 100 employees are given 18 months deadline to emiratise their human resource managerial positions. Such move will affect around 2400 firms and is expected to create about 21,000 jobs for emirates according to the Ministry of Labour. This is the boldest move by the government in implementing its emiratisation policy. Previously, the policy of emiratisation called all banks, local and international, to recruit around 40% of their workforce from the local population (Global Research, 2007).

     The emiratisation of managerial positions in many companies at the UAE would require intensive training for fresh college graduates which would start off as managers and of course this is good news for the nationals who are looking forward to handle key positions in the private sector in their own country.

Banking Sector

     The UAE has a remarkably high number of banks to serve a population of around 4 million and an economy with an annual GDP of about US130 billion, UAE has 21 local banks, 25 foreign banks, two specialized banks and around 50 representative offices of other foreign banks. UAE also boasts of large private banks like National Bank of Dubai held by prominent local businessmen and members of the ruling family; Mashreqbank, held by the Al Ghurair family; and Commercial Bank of Dubai which has most of its shares held by foreign banks (Ibid).

Real Estate and Construction

     In 2005, real estate and associated business services contributed to 7.4% of UAE’s GDP or AED35.9 billion. It witnessed a robust growth of 19.7% in 2005 and averaged 13.5% for the period 2000-2005. This sector was buoyed by the increasing investment in infrastructure because the country is being positioned as an attractive tourist destination in addition to the increase in the residential and non-residential units. With the construction sector, both sectors accounted for 14.6% of GDP in 2005 (Ibid).

Business Financial Capital

     Dubai is fast developing into the financial capital of Middle East. Its strategic location between Japan and London, its business culture and the supply of highest quality developments make it an ideal location for multinational companies to set up their hub for Middle East business. Barclays Capital, banking arm of Merrill Lynch, Alliance Re, Credit Suisse, and Ansbacher are examples of international entities, which have already won the license to operate from Dubai International Financial Centre. More are expected to come and this would generate a lot of demand for high end office space in Dubai.

Manufacturing Sector

     The manufacturing sector which has gained a new momentum in recent years following the country’s economic diversification drive aimed at bolstering the non-oil sector, contributed to 12.6% of GDP in 2005 and reached AED61.2 billion. The growth in the manufacturing sector has been steady since 2000 to report a high average growth rate of 12% during the period 2000-2005.

    As such, Global Research (2007) reports on the manufacturing sector of the UAE:

This growth was mainly backed by the rise in demand for consumer goods, growth in the activities of both free zones and special economic zones. The role played by these zones contributed a lot in boosting the sector during the last period. Historically, the Higher Corporation for Special Economic Zones (Zones Corp.) was set up in 2004 to boost industrialization as well as diversification program. It attracted 24 new companies in the year of establishment then attracted another 59 new companies in 2005. In 2006, Zones Corp. attracted 150 new companies and is still expected to contribute more for the sector (Global Research, 2007).

Chapter 4

DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS

      Even though companies carefully recruits and selects employees, the fresh college graduates cannot bring with them in their new jobs all the required and necessary knowledge, skills and abilities. As such, new recruits must be trained to achieve their full potentials.

     Employers are showing renewed interest in hiring fresh graduates because technology issues are challenging them. Smart employers want to hire people who are technologically oriented and who are comfortable with creative design and change. The young college fresh graduates are significantly more electronically-oriented than their predecessors and even bring with them fresh ideas which challenges the old ideas. These fresh ideas are important at the strategic, tactical and operational levels of organizations.

    The United Arab Emirates is going through a paradigm shift from human resources to human capital management. The government is beginning to realize that people are the most crucial capital in all organizations that are eager and enthusiastic to maintain a competitive edge in the market.

     Fresh college graduates of UAE face unfair competition from employees of various nationalities who are earning comparatively lower salaries. As such, their expectations regarding salary and benefits are higher but they find it hard to compete with their counterparts of other nationalities. It can be noted that unemployment among UAE nationals is unacceptable in a country that is dependent on a workforce composed of expatriates.

     It can also be noted in the literature review that the UAE government and the private sector is also working to promote entrepreneurship as a career option for the graduates. UAE graduates must be encouraged to own and manage their own companies since small firms have started to become significant for the economy of the country. The Mohammed bin Rashid Establishment for Young Business Leaders have a Graduate Fund Program to assist fresh graduates from various learning institutions in the country. Under this scheme, fresh graduates will be encouraged to submit their business plans to the Establishment for possible funding. The funding for this program is valued at Dh750 million and this is already a big amount for supporting the development of small business entrepreneurs in the country.

     In terms of training and development of fresh college graduates some big firms such as Etisalat and BN Paribas are already starting to have a training program for them. Etisalat, a major telecommunications firm in UAE provides three different training courses with different specializations. The program will be for 15 months and it provides specialized trainings which will later select candidates to become managers or technical specialist for the company.

     Also, a great contributing factor for the training and development of fresh college graduates of UAE is the policy of the government to replace expatriate workers with nationals in key jobs. This policy is now being gradually implemented and this requires all major companies to hire only citizens in key jobs or they will ordered to cease business.

     UAE is oil-rich and already an industrialized economy but it is not a good policy to depend on expatriates for its development. Currently, out of a population of about four million, about 3.3 million are non-nationals.

     Many companies in the country are disturbed by this emiratisation policy since the UAE nationals will never work for expatriate wages and most often if they do not like their work, they will just quit. Thus, the companies would end up spending time and money training other people, and their productivity and work are hampered.

     There are at least 33,000 nationals who are unemployed and at least 15,000 national university graduates who enter the job market every year and most of them complained about their starting positions in their jobs and also their low salaries.

    Based on records, the UAE economy created 177,000 jobs per annum on the average for the period 1999-2004 while the average annual increase in the national labor force stood at 18,000. This would mean that job creation was more than sufficient to absorb the new entrants to the labor force but unemployment among nationals increased gradually from 7.6% to 11.4% in 2004. As such, major changes need to be taken in order to increase nationals employment in the private sector. Changes should me made in terms of controlling increases in government wages and benefits to narrow the gap between public and private sector salaries. These problem of unemployment among nationals also supports the need for training and developing fresh college graduates prior to their employment in major companies. Moreover, the current order of the government to only hire UAE nationals as managers in major companies would really boost the need for training and developing these fresh graduates.

     The economy of the UAE is fast growing and becoming more competitive globally. There are many major local and foreign companies joining manufacturing, construction, tourism, banking, telecommunications, etc. The future of the UAE’s economy is very promising and the need to develop its own human capital to compete strategically in the world market. There is a need to develop its fresh graduates and harness them to become world class managers and entrepreneurs. As such, a management development program for its fresh graduates is needed. Also, another option and need is an entrepreneurship development program for them.

Chapter 4

CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

CONCLUSION

     Based on the discussion and analysis, it can be concluded that the following are the factors that contribute and impede the training and development of fresh college graduates of the United Arab Emirates:

     Contributing Factors

  • The emiratisation policy of the UAE government is a contributing factor to training and development of fresh college graduates because this encourages them that they will later handle key positions in major companies in their country.
  • The economy of UAE is oil rich and highly industrialized and as such these developments requires more employees, managers, and also entrepreneurs in the country.
  • There are already existing companies who are initiating the training and development of fresh college graduates in the country.
  • There is a an existing funding program that provides capital for those graduates who wants to be entrepreneurs.

   Factors that Impede:

  • The attitude of UAE fresh graduates of not accepting starting low positions and low salaries and if they accept it, they will just leave their jobs after a few months.
  • The economy and industrialization of UAE is currently dependent upon a dominant majority of expatriates who managed and control technology in the country.

RECOMMENDATIONS

     Basically, the recommendation will center on having a training and development plan for fresh college graduates of UAE and the areas of development were based on the analysis and conclusions of this study. The recommended areas for training are the following:

  • Attitude Development Program. This program will address the attitude problem of UAE fresh graduates who expect a high position and high salary after graduation.
  • Management Development Program. This program will address the need for UAE graduates to be further trained in management in order to prepare them for key positions in major companies in the country.
  • Entrepreneurship Development Program. Since there is a funding or capital to be given for those graduates who wants to go into entrepreneurship, this program should also be offered to them.

   Thus, there is a need for the government to establish a training and development center for fresh college graduates which will implement the programs mentioned above.

SUGGESTED COURSE MODULES

Management Development Program for Fresh Graduates of UAE

Module 1 Strategic and Operational Planning – 6 months duration

     This module will be an intensive course in strategy and planning in organizations and will utilized case studies and analysis of major companies. From time to time speakers from the planning department of major companies would be invited to discuss current issues and concerns about strategic planning.

Module 2 The Organizing Process – 3 months duration

     This module will discuss the organizing process in major corporations and will highlight the organizing function of a professional manager.

Module 3  Leaders and Organizations – 3 months

     This module will take up the major tasks of  leaders and why they are important in organizations.

Module 4  Controlling – 3 months

     This module will cover the controlling function of managers which will include financial analysis, performance measurements and control measures for major companies.

Entrepreneurship Development Program for Fresh Graduates of UAE

     Module 1 – The Role of Entrepreneurs in Development   – 1 week

     Module 2 – The Attitude and Characteristics of Entrepreneurs – 1 week

     Module 3 –  Business Opportunities in the UAE  – 1 week

     Module 4 –  Business Planning    – 6 months

     Module 5 – Managing the Business – 3 months

IMPLEMENTING AND ORGANIZING THE TRAINING PROGRAM

    The government of UAE should initiate and organize a training committee for fresh college graduates in their country and following are the guidelines for implementation and organizing a training program:

     There are three stages involved in the task of organizing a training program:

  1. Preparation Stage
  2. Implementation and Administration Stage
  3. Disposal Stage

     Before the different activities in these three stages will be discussed, the role, duties and responsibilities of the important people/committees involved in organizing a training program will be explained.

The Training Administrator

     A training administrator should be appointed by the UAE government and by virtue of its position, the training administrator is expected to:

  1. Set an example in the training program/seminar on proper conduct and decorum;
  2. Maintain training standards at least above the average performance of the other seminar participants; and
  3. Act as linkage between the other seminar participants and the UAE government.

General Job Objectives;

  1. To assist the training committee and the class in the effective administration and conduct of the course;
  2. To assist in providing timely feedback on significant class matters affecting the participants, the faculty and the training committee;
  3. To facilitate throughputs to and from the class and the training committee;
  4. To arrange for training facilities;
  5. To procure equipment, supplies and materials;
  6. To purchase, maintain and utilize audio-visual equipment;
  7. To arrange for procurement of outside training resources;
  8. To coordinate training schedules, assignments, space, materials and resources concerned with the directory delivery of learning experiences;
  9. To prepare statistical reports of classroom training for internal and external reporting requirements;
  10. To maintain and administer library of training references and materials;
  11. To provide required training forms and guides to employees;
  12. To answer and refer inquiries about available training;
  13. To clarify eligibility requirements for specific training courses;
  14. To organize and disseminate course announcements and catalogs.

Abilities Required of a Training Administrator:

     To fulfill such duties and responsibilities, the training administrator must have the ability to:

  1. Resolve problems;
  2. Coordinate routine activities;
  3. Compile information;
  4. Develop criteria for selection of training participants;
  5. Administer the training and development program;
  6. Locate and procure previously identified learning materials and equipment;
  7. Write narrative reports to meet regulatory reporting requirements;
  8. Match participant’s nomination form against established criteria;
  9. Establish schedules and resolve scheduling conflicts;
  10. Develop training needs survey.

The Curriculum Developer and Director

     General Job Objectives:

  1. Establish behavioral or learning objectives for programs;
  2. Design programs to satisfy needs;
  3. Determine program content;
  4. Apply concepts of human development in designing training/development programs;
  5. Apply adult learning theory and instructional principles in development programs;
  6. Evaluate alternative instructional methods (e.g., video, role play, demonstration, etc.);
  7. Develop programmed learning and instructional materials;
  8. Determine program structure (length, number of participants, choice of techniques, etc.);
  9. Determine appropriate sequences of courses and programs (e.g., prerequisite curricula);
  10. Develop criteria for selecting program participants;
  11. Develop exercises and tests for measurement of learning;
  12. Develop self-assessment tools (e.g., checklist, manuals, exercises);
  13. Revise program materials based on evaluation feedback;
  14. Identify and evaluate external training and developmental programs;
  15. Secure necessary copyright or reprint permissions;
  16. Identify equipment and supplies required for training and development programs;
  17. Prepare artwork and copy slides and overheads.

   Specific Job Objectives:

  1. Call and preside at an orientation of all faculty members/session leaders in his course before its implementation;
  2. Call and preside at all other faculty meetings in his course;
  3. Consult the faculty members in his course and the training administrator regarding matters to be discussed in the meetings;
  4. Submit a report to the training administrator on the outcome of the meetings;
  5. Evaluate and work for the improvement of the course curriculum, in consultation with the faculty members in his course;
  6. Promote the continued improvement and development of library holdings and audio-visuals particularly on his course.

Designing a Training Program

     As a preparation in the development of a course program, the trainer must meet with experts in that area for a group discussion on the subject matter.

     Some guide questions are the following:

  1. What should be the objectives of the course?
  2. How should the course be designed for us to attain the objectives?
    • What should be the course content?
    • What methodology should we adopt to teach the course effectively?
    • What teaching tools and techniques (e.g., lecture, case methods, integrative teaching, group field work, etc.) do we need to use?
    • What specific teaching materials (e.g., cases, business games, audio-visual packages, etc.) do we need?
    • What innovative approaches can we introduce to make the course not only interesting, but also more company-oriented?
    • What is the preferred schedule (day/time) for the course?

Setting-Up Objectives

     The first step in designing a training program is to determine the learning objectives which are small bits of specific learning. When developing training objectives, the trainer must be certain that these objectives reflect higher level educational aims of society and educational goals of the organization.

     Educational Aims. These are the desired broad social outcomes which reflect the philosophy, broad direction and general purposes of an educational/training system. These are general and comprehensive statements of what education/training seeks to achieve; it incorporates the philosophy of an educational/training system. These are statements of expectations and desired outcomes to add to the knowledge possessed by trainees, to enable them to perform skills which otherwise they could not perform, to develop certain understandings, insights and appreciations. The educational/training aim for the proposed government training center should be: “To train the fresh college graduates of UAE in the knowledge, attitude and skills required for national development.”

     There are two types of educational/training aims:

  1. The general educational training aims have for their purpose the improvement of man as man through a liberal education; and
  2. The specific educational aims have for their purpose the meeting of the interests and needs of the different professions and suggest expert knowledge and skills required by the trainees in their particular fields.

     To facilitate consistency of interpretation, educational aims should be translated into clear and specific statements. These statements are called educational objectives and instructional objectives.

     Educational Objective. It is derived from an educational aim and is formulated for trainees who are identified to their level of education. These are statements primarily used as point of departure for base line data from which more specific instructional objective can be developed. Thus, if the educational aim is “to train the fresh college graduates of UAE in the knowledge, attitude and skills required for national development,” an example of an educational objective derived from it is: “To acquire the basic managerial skills, knowledge and information essential for  obtaining initial gainful employment and for making intelligent choice of occupation or career.” Educational objectives should be specific, pertinent, attainable, measurable, and observable.

     Instructional Objective. It is suggested by an educational objective and is generated to meet the specific needs and interests of trainees identified according to his education, community or class. This is stated in exact terms to include a goal and the outcome of the goal. To formulate the specific instructional goals, the first step is to determine general goals.

    Instructional objectives state a goal and what behavior, performance or activity the trainee will be doing when he has achieved the goal of that particular educational objective. The goal is utilized to define specific goals and to determine both how the activity will be developed and how it will be evaluated. An example to illustrate how the instructional is derived from the educational objective above mentioned is: “To train trainees in management and to understand its functions and be able to plan, organize, direct, and control the activities of organizations.”

     The instructional objective must define the specific goal, determine how the activity will be developed and how it will be evaluated. A well-written instructional objective should have three component parts:

  1. A description of what the trainee should be able to do or produce.
  2. A statement of the conditions in which the trainee should be able to do it.
  3. A statement of the criteria that will be used to judge what he has done.

    In preparing instructional objectives, the following are the guidelines:

  1. Select proper level of generality: must be identifiable but not too specific.
  2. Must include only one general outcome (e.g., knows rules, not knows and applies).
  3. Indicate desired terminal behavior (e.g., knows causes of tardiness, not has read about it).
  4. Indicate learning products, not process (e.g., uses tools, not learn how to).
  5. Indicate participants’ performance (applies safety rules).
  6. Start with a verb (e.g., knows, understands, uses, applies).

     The learning scope for instructional objectives are the following:

  1. Cognitive objectives: deal with what a trainee should know, understand or comprehend.
  2. Affective objectives: deal with how a trainee should feel about something in relation to the training program.
  3. Psychomotor objectives: concerned with how a trainee controls or moves the body.

    Instructional objectives are further subdivided into the following:

  1. Terminal Performance Objective (TPO): the performance the trainees must exhibit when assessment takes place at the end of the training program.
  2. Enabling Objectives (EO): sub-objectives which state the behaviors that are essential in order for the trainees to achieve the performance of the TPO.

     There are five kinds of Terminal Performance Objectives that can be determined and stated. They are concerned with the attitudes, knowledge, skills, job behavior and ultimate value (cost-benefit) that are expected to exist when the training program is completed: These are:

  1. Attitude Objectives which specify what the trainees should be able to value and appreciate (e.g., Supervisors realize that upward communication is important to the morale and performance of workers).
  2. Knowledge Objectives which specify what the trainees should be able to know and understand (e.g., Supervisors understand the new personnel policy on vacation).
  3. Skills Objectives which specify what the trainees should be able to do and perform (e.g., Supervisors know how to conduct problem-solving conferences).
  4. Job Behavior Objectives which specify that the trainees should be able to apply in their workplace (e.g., Supervisors will handle 90% of the grievances at the first level).
  5. Ultimate Values (cost-benefit) Objectives which specify what tangible results should contribute to the organization (e.g., To increase volume of production by 20%).

Material Development

     Once the objectives are set, the modules are then prepared. In doing this, the trainer sees to it that the modules are sequenced from the easiest to the utmost difficult. Module interest should also be considered. If necessary, pre-program training sessions should be conducted for advance courses and programs. Prerequisite modules should also be scheduled early in the program and an inter-session between sessions is recommended.

Conducting Instruction    

     The instructional phase of training is called the Teaching-Learning Activity phase. There are two continuous and often indistinguishable processes in this phase. On the one hand, the trainer “teaches”. On the other hand, the trainee “learns”.

     In order to provide good training, the instructional activities have to be planned in advance. There are five teaching-learning principles. These are the following:

  1. Perceived Purpose. The trainee must see why he should study something.
  2. Graduated Sequence. The trainee must proceed step by step and each step must be in some way more difficult than the previous step.
  3. Individual Differentiation. Each trainee should be given the opportunity to learn in the way best suited to him.
  4. Appropriate Practice. All the trainees must practice doing the action described in the behavioral objective. Behavioral objectives are small bits of specific learning. It would tell explicitly what the participant will do at the end of instruction/training that he could not do before. A well-constructed behavioral objective, stated completely, requires a five-part operational structure:
    • subject (characteristic participant);
    • action verb (observable, measurable behavior);
    • object (course/component context); and
    • criteria (performance standards).
  1. Knowledge of Results. As the trainee practices, he must know whether he is performing correctly or not.

     A favorable training climate is one in which the importance, dependence, and resources of the trainee are recognized and supported.

     There are a large number of actions that the trainer can take to develop a positive climate in the training group. Among these actions are the following:

  1. Establish common expectations. A clear understanding of what is expected in the training course goes a long way towards easing the anxieties of the training group. Each participant will have a unique perception of the purpose of training. This perception will be based on the printed material distributed prior to training, on what participants expect from training, on memories of other training courses, on expectations for job-related learning, on first impressions of the trainer, on brief conversations before the session begins, etc. These perceptions will differ and will add to a certain degree of anxiety regarding the training program. Just what is expected? Of whom? By whom?

These expectations will, in general, fall into four categories, each of which expresses a relationship between people:

    • Trainer to Trainee Expectations
    • Trainer to Superior Expectations
    • Trainee to Trainer Expectations
    • Trainee to Superior Expectations

     Each of these relationships is a two-way street, with each member holding expectations of the other, and perceiving the other’s expectations of  himself. The degree to which all expectations can be brought to converge on a common understanding of what the training is all about is a major factor in developing a group climate that is supportive of learning.

     Perhaps the most important area of expectations to be dealt with in the program concerns the goals of training. Just what will the training accomplish? The key to establishing common expectations on the goals of training is stating these in clear, carefully developed behavioral objectives. Behavioral objectives express, in terms easily understood and measured by all concerned, what the outcome of training will be. Thus, the trainee knows what to expect in terms of the results of his efforts during the training program; and the trainer has a clear goal to work towards in designing instruction.

  1. Establish interpersonal relationships. Every training group becomes a social group, with friendships, conflicts, subgroups – all the characteristics of a group of people brought together for a common purpose. It is a unique social group in that it is separated from the ordinary life of the trainee and is temporary. It has its own dynamics, all of which affect the training climate.

     The trainer should plan activities which can help break the ice. Such activities should go beyond the traditional introduction of participants. Human relations trainers have developed a large number of structured activities for the purpose.

  1. Arrange the training room appropriately. Proper arrangement of the training room is very important in creating a climate conducive to learning. If learning is designed for discussion such as in a case study of a company, the seating arrangement should be like that of a board meeting in a conference room.

Training Evaluation

     The last phase of the training program will be the evaluation and feedback of the participants regarding the training. An evaluation form should be given to each participant and they should answer the forms completely and honestly. The trainer should summarize the evaluation of the participants and prepares a report to the training administrator.

REFERENCES

     Martin Croft (2007) “TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT: Don’t teach, let them learn”

     Marketing Week. London: Jan 18, 2007. pg. 39

Super, D.E. and Hall, D.T. (1978), “Career development: exploration and planning”, Annual Review of Psychology, Vol. 29, pp. 333-72.

Rowold Jens (2006) – Career-related Continuous Learning: Longitudinal predictive power of employees’ job and career attitudes – Career Development International Vol. 11 No. 6 pp. 489-503

David E. Bartz, David R. Schwandt and Larry W. Hillman (1989) “Title:Differences between “T” and “D”; training and development are two separate concepts with different purposes” – Source:Personnel Administrator 34.n6 (June 1989): p.p164

Scott Beagrie (2005, August). How to… set up a graduate development programme. Personnel Today,29.  Retrieved November 4, 2007, from ABI/INFORM Global database. (Document ID: 887969981

Michelle Straka (2006, April). FILLING THE GENERATION GAP. Canadian Underwriter, 73(4), 56,58-59.  Retrieved November 4, 2007, from ABI/INFORM Global database. (Document ID: 1043951301)

Elaine Essery (2006) – “Learn the Value of Training” – Works Management No. 8 August 2006

Khaleej Times, February 28, 2005

(2003) Financial Times Ltd.

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(2006 ) Al Bawaba, www.albawaba.com

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Armstrong, Michael (2006). A Handbook of Human Resource Management Practice, 10th edition, London: Kogan Page. ISBN 0-7494-4631-5. OCLC 62282248.

 “personnel management”. The Columbia Encyclopedia (Sixth Edition). (2005). Columbia University Press. Retrieved on 2007-10-17. “personnel management – see industrial management”  

Encyclopædia Britannica. “Personnel administration is also frequently called personnel management, industrial relations, employee relations”

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 Towers, David. Human Resource Management essays. Retrieved on 2007-10-17.

Ulrich, Dave (1996). Human Resource Champions. The next agenda for adding value and delivering results. Boston, Mass.: Harvard Business School Press. ISBN 0-87584-719-6. OCLC 34704904.  

 Smit, Martin E.J.H. (2006). “HR, Show me the money; Presenting an exploratory model that can measure if HR adds value“.

Wilkinson, A. (1988). “Empowerment: theory and practice”. Personnel Review 27 (1): 40-56. Retrieved on 2007-10-17.

Legge, Karen (2004). Human Resource Management: Rhetorics and Realities, Anniversary Edition, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 1-403-93600-5. OCLC 56730524.

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Armstrong, Michael (2006). A Handbook of Human Resource Management Practice, 10th edition, London: Kogan Page. ISBN 0-7494-4631-5. OCLC 62282248.

 personnel management”. The Columbia Encyclopedia (Sixth Edition). (2005). Columbia  Unversity Press. Retrieved on 2007-10-17. “personnel management – see industrial management”  

 Encyclopædia Britannica. “Personnel administration is also frequently called personnel management, industrial relations, employee relations”  

 Encyclopædia Britannica.

 Towers, David. Human Resource Management essays. Retrieved on 2007-10-17. 

 Ulrich, Dave (1996). Human Resource Champions. The next agenda for adding value and delivering results. Boston, Mass.: Harvard Business School Press. ISBN 0-87584-719-6. OCLC 34704904.  

 Smit, Martin E.J.H. (2006). “HR, Show me the money; Presenting an exploratory model that can measure if HR adds value“.

Wilkinson, A. (1988). “Empowerment: theory and practice”. Personnel Review 27 (1): 40-56. Retrieved on 2007-10-17.

Legge, Karen (2004). Human Resource Management: Rhetorics and Realities, Anniversary Edition, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 1-403-93600-5. OCLC 56730524.

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