Imposing quota ‘can thwart aim of Qatarisation’

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The Qatari government is playing its role in integrating nationals into the private sector, but more needs to be done by companies to lure nationals into the sector, academic and professional qualifications provider Edexcel said yesterday.
Mark Andrews, Edexcel’s regional director for MENA, speaking during the “Nationalisation 2010 Conference” currently being held in Dubai, said imposing Qatarisation quotas on private companies would be counter-productive.
“The key is to provide the right education to these nationals to nurture their skills, and make efforts to strike a balance between locals’ salary expectations and private companies’ priority on optimum productivity,” Andrews said.
“It is a two-way street. Nationals have to show more zeal to be integrated into the private sector and companies should work harder on integrating them into their multinational workforce,” Andrews
added.
Other critical issues, according to him, include bridging the gap between the knowledge obtained through formal education and skills required by employers.
Andrews said that development of nationals to leadership positions in the private sector would be the ideal way to integrate more nationals into the private sector at all levels.
“Local employees have traditionally given preference to the public sector. They also display strong preferences for particular jobs and avoid certain others, thus creating an imbalance in their availability for certain job segments. Further, talented nationals are in high demand and difficult to retain, creating a retention challenge,” the official pointed out.
“Developing nationals for leadership positions will have a domino effect on the move to have more nationals into lower management positions. The main aim of nationalisation is to develop GCC leaders of tomorrow. Education plays a key role in developing the leadership skills of raw talent in the Gulf,” Andrews added.
Currently, private companies in certain sectors in the Gulf are required by the governments to employ a certain number of GCC nationals.
“The GCC education system should work on introducing students to the real-world workplace. It is important to ensure that university and college graduates meet the needs of the labour market if the campaign to have more nationals in the private sector is to succeed,” he said.

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