27 Jan 2015 08:00
Etihad Airways has announced plans to boost the number of UAE nationals employed in the airline substantially as part of its award winning UAE national development strategy. More than 6,000 Emiratis will be offered jobs that span the spectrum of the airline’s operations over the next five years.
The UAE flag carrier will continue to utilise the strategic
collaborations it has formed with a range of UAE government, educational and
Emiratisation institutions with the aim of offering Emiratis various
opportunities to develop a long and rewarding career in the airline business.
One of Etihad Airways’ major collaborations is its participation in the
Absher initiative which was conceived by the President of the United Arab
Emirates (UAE), His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, to support
Emiratisation and create new jobs for skilled Emiratis in the UAE labour market.
As part of the Absher initiative, Etihad Airways signed a Memorandum of
Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Presidential Affairs in June 2012 to
recruit 1,500 Emirati citizens to its global team over the next five years. More
than 900 UAE nationals have been recruited since then as part of the initiative.
In 2011, Etihad Airways signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Abu
Dhabi Tawteen Council (ADTC) and since then has worked together to enhance the
airline’s recruitment strategy for UAE nationals.
The Abu Dhabi Tawteen Council has supported Etihad Airways in its efforts
to build successful future careers for UAE nationals in aviation by promoting
job opportunities on their database and helped Etihad Airways spread awareness
of the aviation industry amongst UAE nationals job seekers.
The Abu Dhabi-based airline also signed an MOU with the Ministry of
Higher Education and Scientific Research in 2013 with the aim of sponsoring and
hiring UAE nationals studying abroad.
As part of this collaboration, 32 students studying in the United States
have been sponsored by Etihad Airways, three of whom have already graduated and
joined the airline’s various departments.
To attract even more talented young Emiratis, Etihad Airways recently took
part in a recruitment event hosted by the UAE embassy in Washington DC with the
aim of screening and selecting a new batch of students who will eventually join
the airline’s ranks.
Ahmed Al Jeneibi, a recent joiner and one of the graduates sponsored by
Etihad Airways, said:
“I was introduced to Etihad Airways at the 2013 UAE Student Conference in
Washington DC where I was impressed by the professional prospects presented by
the airline’s recruitment team and the employment offering, which included a
substantial overview of my career path and progression within the airline.
“As a political science graduate, I chose to expand my experience by
working in a politically oriented department within Etihad Airways and I joined
the Department of Government and Aeropolitical Affairs. I am grateful to Etihad
Airways for investing in me and look forward to progressing even further among
the airline ranks.”
Etihad Airways also has an agreement in place with the Higher Colleges of
Technologies and the Al Ain International Aviation Academy offering trainees the
chance to obtain a B1 (Engineering License in Airframe and Engines) or B2
(Avionics) license in Aviation Engineering Technology. Once qualified, the
trainees will become part of Etihad Airways' technical team at the airline's
dedicated aircraft line and light maintenance facilities at Abu Dhabi
The airline also collaborates with Abu Dhabi University
to offer a bachelor’s degree in aviation science, the first of its kind in the airline industry for applicants
interested in Etihad Airways’ cadet pilot program.
The degree can be completed in about five years, and after graduation,
the cadets are required to complete 750 hours of ground training and 205 hours
on a small aircraft after which they receive an Air Pilot Transport Licence and
graduate to second officers. They then move to the Etihad Academy to complete
their simulator training – which can take up to a year. That is followed by 43
flights under the supervision of a training pilot after which they graduate as
Etihad Airways also continues to work closely with the Higher Colleges of
Technology, and other organisations to enhance the effectiveness of its recruitment
and development strategy. In 2013 Etihad Airways signed an MoU with the Higher
Colleges of Technology for the establishment of the HCT/EY Centre for Education
and Professional Development.
The airline’s UAE national development strategy offers Emiratis exciting,
world-class training, in addition to highly attractive career prospects across
the global business. Roles are diverse, including graduate managers, cadet
pilots, technical engineers, sales managers, guest service agents, contact
centre agents and airport operations managers.
Etihad Airways’ UAE national development strategy and efforts were
recognised at the MENA HR Excellence Awards 2014, where the airline won the ‘Best
Nationalisation Initiative’ award. Etihad Airways was also recently named the
‘Employer of the Year’ at the Middle East HR Excellence Awards 2014 and was
also ranked by LinkedIn as one of the 100 most in-demand places to work in the
world, based on billions of interactions from LinkedIn’s more than 313 million
Etihad Airways’ Chief People and Performance Officer, Ray Gammell, said:
“Etihad Airways is renowned as one of the country’s leading employers and we
have been widely praised and recognised for our UAE national development
strategy and for providing our Emirati workforce with fantastic opportunities for
development and progression.
“Collaborations and partnerships with national educational institutions
in the UAE continue to play an important part in our efforts at recruiting,
retaining and developing our UAE national workforce.
“As a result, UAE nationals are now the number one nationality group in
the airline as well as the number one nationality group at our manager and
higher management levels.
“We have made huge strides and are looking forward to forging new
partnerships to support more UAE nationals across the business and
significantly increase our Emirati representation year-on-year.”
More than 190 UAE nationals, who started their careers in one of Etihad
Airways’ award winning UAE national development programs, have taken up
positions at the airline’s offices and airport destinations across the Middle
East, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas. Many of them have also been
placed on assignment with Etihad Airways’ partner airlines worldwide.
These global assignments provide a unique opportunity for Emiratis to
gain international exposure and include sales, finance and airport manager
roles in Australia, Germany, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Morocco,
Switzerland, the US and the United Kingdom.
Etihad Airways also recently expanded
its UAE national development efforts with the launch of a two-year Graduate Finance Development Program, which prepares Emirati
trainees for a rewarding career in financial accounting and provides them with
a professional qualification from the Association of Chartered Certified
Accountants (ACCA), the global body for accountants.
The airline will launch new specialised programs in government affairs, network
planning, properties and logistics to diversify its offering and train UAE
nationals in all aspects of the aviation business. A total of 21 different
development programs are now being offered as part of the UAE dational development
initiatives at Etihad Airways.