UAE, India announce new skills partnership

DUBAI, The governments of the UAE and India today announced the launch of a new strategic partnership focused on skills development and mutual recognition of qualifications.

The partnership was launched at a forum in Dubai, organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, FICCI, supported by the UAE’s Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, MOHRE, and India’s Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.

The new partnership builds on a robust institutional framework of cooperation on labour and skilling matters. A strengthened MoU on cooperation in the labour field was signed during the visit of Shri Narendra Modi, Hon’ble Prime Minister of India to UAE, in February 2018.

Commenting on the announcement, Dr. Omar Al Nuaimi, MOHRE Assistant Under-Secretary, said, “My hope is that this is only the first step in terms of increased collaboration between the UAE and India. It is also my hope that through this partnership, the UAE and India will lead the way regionally in making sure that the skilling of workers in our region is robust. By strengthening trust in the quality of training and certification, and by requiring workers to be skilled and certified prior to their arrival, we can improve the skills mix in the labour market, leading to improved labour productivity for business. The skilling of workers is also likely to positively impact the wage structure here in the UAE, ensuring that wages increase and improving competition among Emiratis for a variety of jobs.”

The Indian Ambassador to the UAE, Navdeep Suri, in turn, said, “In the spirit of our MoUs on cooperation in the field of manpower and the Skill Development and Recognition of Qualifications, both countries have agreed to work together to integrate India’s eMigrate system with UAE’s labour e-platform and to facilitate skill development and employment of certified workforce in UAE. Integration of India’s eMigrate system with UAEs labour e-platform will be a very important step to stop contract substitution and to ensure protection and welfare of Indian workers and will benefit both the countries as well.”

Addressing the event, Dr. K.P. Krishnan, Secretary, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Government of India, said, “Our goal in India is to increase the scale of skilling operations, as well as improving the quality of skills provision. The relationship between India and the UAE will be beneficial if we can provide the UAE labour market with its precise needs. A centralised programme that is demand driven, and meets the UAE’s requirements for certifications frameworks, is, we believe, the answer. This event is vital in helping to clearly identify the skills requirements of UAE employers, including those soft skills to inform people coming here about the culture of the UAE. “

Abdalla Hassan Al Muaini, Executive Director of Conformity Scheme Services at Abu Dhabi’s Quality and Conformity Council, said, “The council develops and oversees the occupational standards and conformity schemes that are relevant to Abu Dhabi and the wider UAE’s needs. To date, we have developed 70 occupational standards and launched 50 personnel conformity schemes. We plan to make our services available in the home countries of personnel who are seeking our certification services. Our efforts reflect our leading role in the development of quality services in Abu Dhabi and our contributions to the objectives of the Abu Dhabi Plan in building a competitive economy supported by sound regulatory standards.”

Three panel discussions, on skilled labour supply and demand, and skill harmonisation between India and UAE, were held during the forum. The panel discussion on skilled labour supply considered the impact of the Indian government’s programme to invest in skills, with a look at the key sectors and mobility pathways for skilled workers. The panel on skilled labour demand addressed the acceleration of joint recognition of skills certification, and included the case for requiring structured skilling of domestic labour.

Both India and the UAE have agreed to engage with each other on skills harmonisation, aimed at matching India’s programmes for up-skilling workers with the requirements of UAE’s job market. The upcoming meeting of Senior Officials from Abu Dhabi Dialogue Member States in Colombo, Sri Lanka on 8th-9th May, 2018, will, inter alia, focus on the harmonisation of skill ecosystems by countries of origin and destination. .

The forum was attended by a high level delegation from India.

Source: Emirates News Agency