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Rethinking Job Support

A Hopeful Path for UAE Job Seekers


The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has long been hailed as a land of opportunity, attracting job seekers from around the world with promises of a better future. However, the reality for many arriving here can be starkly different. The UK's 'Any job first, a Better job next and into a Career' (ABC) policy shares some parallels with the UAE's approach to job placement.


Understanding the ABC Policy

The ABC policy, which stands for "Any job first, a Better job next, and into a Career," is a framework utilized by the UK government to guide job placement and support for its citizens. It prioritizes placing job seekers in any available job initially, with the goal of later helping them secure better positions and ultimately build a lasting career.

In essence, this policy encourages job seekers to enter the job market promptly, even if the position may not align with their qualifications or career aspirations. While the intention is to get individuals employed swiftly, it can sometimes result in job seekers cycling between periods of unemployment and unstable, low-paid work.

Global Impact


As someone originally from South Africa with a diverse global perspective, I've observed how policies like the ABC policy can impact job seekers across various backgrounds. In South Africa, challenges abound for candidates, particularly those from marginalized communities, who often struggle to access suitable job opportunities due to a lack of support, skills, and networks.


The UK's ABC policy and its potential consequences resonate deeply with these global issues. It reflects a broader concern of job seekers facing hurdles in accessing quality employment opportunities. By examining the parallels between these policies, we can better understand the need for tailored approaches to job support, emphasizing individual skills, aspirations, and needs, not only in the UK but also here in the UAE.


The UAE's Struggling Job Seekers


With several years of experience as a job interview coach and CV writer, I've had the privilege of managing a community group in the UAE. This group consists of candidates who face some of the toughest challenges in their job search journey. Many of them lack essential skills, proficiency in the language, and the vital networks that can open doors to opportunities.


While I wholeheartedly support and guide them in refining their CV's and preparing for job applications and interviews, there are moments when I feel a sense of despair. The enormity of the hurdles they face can be overwhelming. It's disheartening to witness the lack of compassion and care from recruitment agencies and hiring managers towards these candidates.


The truth is, the issues at hand are far more extensive than any one person can address, and the solution requires a collective effort from society as a whole.


A Glimpse of Hope?

But is it feasible to imagine a future where every job seeker in the UAE, regardless of their background or experience, receives tailored support to help them realize their career aspirations?

Overlooked and Unskilled


Despite their qualifications, many of these candidates face an uphill battle. They are often overlooked by employers who prioritize UAE experience over qualifications. This is particularly true for those seeking lower-level employment, where the lack of a network and relevant experience can be a significant hindrance.


The Marginalized Seek Employment


Among the job seekers are marginalized individuals who have faced adverse life experiences. These individuals, despite their determination to rebuild their lives, often struggle to acquire the skills and opportunities needed to secure employment. It's a stark reminder that the path to economic stability is not always straightforward.


A Tailored Approach


The question we must ask is whether our current approach to job placement and support is sufficient. Are we providing tailored assistance to these individuals, acknowledging their unique skill sets, desires, needs, and passions? Or are we dismissing these valuable assets at face value?


The Power of Networking and Tailored Support


In the job market, there's a saying: "It's easier to get a job if you already have a job." This underscores the importance of networking and gaining experience. However, for newcomers to the UAE, this can be a Catch-22 situation. They need a job to gain experience, but they need experience to get a job.


Supporting Candidates in the UAE


Implementing a more tailored approach to job placement and support in the UAE is not only feasible but also necessary to address the challenges faced by job seekers, particularly those from marginalized backgrounds. However, it requires a concerted effort involving multiple stakeholders, including the government and the private industry, to make this vision a reality. This includes:


  • Individualized Career Pathways: Work coaches and community leaders should sit down with candidates to understand their unique backgrounds and aspirations. From there, personalized career pathways can be developed, taking into account their qualifications and potential.

  • Skill Enhancement Programs: Investment in programs that help candidates acquire the skills needed for their chosen fields. This could include training, workshops, and mentorship opportunities.

  • Network Building: Recognition of the value of networks in the job market. Encourage candidates to participate in networking events and provide them with resources to help them build valuable connections.


While the journey towards a more tailored approach to job support may be challenging, it is not a pipe dream. By fostering collaboration among these stakeholders, the UAE can create a more inclusive job market that offers opportunities for all, regardless of their backgrounds or previous experiences. It begins with recognizing the need for change and taking collective action to make it a reality.


Greetings, I'm Camilla Vander M, a top communications and interview coach with a track record of guiding 3000+ candidates to interview success. With a Drama and Production background and extensive experience in government and private sectors across Africa and the Middle East, I offer a distinct approach to enhancing professional communication.


Based in Abu Dhabi, I'm dedicated to empowering individuals to excel in job interviews and presentations. My personalized coaching builds confidence, showcases strengths, and targets improvement areas. I'm a firm believer in everyone having the skills to convey qualifications with confidence. My adaptable methods suit all accents and cultures, fostering a unique communication style aligned with individual skills and experiences. Read more from Camilla


Join the Facebook Group and get connected with other UAE job seekers:) and loads of community support and advice.


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