15 May 2014 18:30

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, received two prestigious accolades for its employee training and development initiatives at the 2014 MENA HR Excellence Awards. 

Wissam Hachem, Etihad Airways Vice President of Learning and Development, accepted the Distinction in Learning and Development award during a gala ceremony in Dubai today. The airline also won a certification of excellence in the Best Nationalisation Initiative category. 

The MENA HR Excellence awards, now in their sixth year, celebrate human resource excellence within the Middle East and North Africa. An independent panel of judges was impressed by Etihad Airways’ “clear focus on employee skill enhancement, career progression and performance management as part of its world-class learning and development strategy”. 

Etihad Airways has more than 19,000 employees across the world, with nearly 1,700 new members of staff welcomed in 2014 to date. The results of the airline’s Employee Opinion Survey have shown that 93 per cent of staff are proud to work for the airline, with 92 per cent willing to go beyond their normal job requirements in order to help the company succeed.  

Etihad Airways invests in developing UAE nationals into future aviation leaders through its highly successful two-to-three year Graduate Management Program, which is underpinned by internationally accredited qualifications and integrates classroom education with on-the-job training, both in the UAE and across the network. UAE nationals are now the number one nationality group within the managers’ level. 

In addition, all levels of staff participate in training and induction sessions, with attendance from 2,822 core employees and graduate managers in Abu Dhabi during the first quarter of 2014. The airline’s first Management Effectiveness Program was also launched last year, training over 1,200 people managers in over 20 countries on Etihad Airways’ management practices. 

In preparation for future growth, a new Corporate Academy opened this year and offers an increased capacity of 275 people per day. The academy encourages interactive and creative learning, with wireless technology, state-of-the-art audio-video facilities, and practical airline-related environments, such as mock check-in and contact centre desks. It will also provide virtual classrooms that allow staff to attend training sessions from any computer in the network. 

Commenting on the awards, Mr Hachem said: “We are delighted to receive these awards, which recognises our commitment to driving the airline’s continued success through its people. 

“Through our learning and development strategy, we have built a performance-driven culture that supports Etihad Airways’ fast-paced growth and evolution. Shaped around the airline’s needs, it ensures our people receive the best possible learning and development opportunities, and provides meaningful rewards for those who excel, including career progression. During the first quarter of 2014, approximately 30 per cent of our vacancies were filled internally, which highlights the dynamic environment that we provide for employees to develop their careers.”
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