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Monday, 27 June 2016

Qatar HR News

Qatar's reliance on unskilled workers reduced

The percentage of unskilled labourers in Qatar has dropped to its lowest level in nearly seven years, in what state planners are saying is ‘promising’.
According to an extensive economic update, unskilled workers made up 19.6% of the non-Qatari labour force last year, down from 21.4% in 2014. In its report, the ministry said: “The country’s emphasis on infrastructure building has so far favoured lower skilled workers. “The bulk of foreign workers in Qatar do not have tertiary qualifications. “Promisingly, however, the share of semi-skilled workers hit a peak in 2015, while the share of unskilled workers stood at the lowest level since data collection began in 2008.”
26-Jun-16 Construction Week Compiled by www.GroupL.ae

Around 1.5 million workers covered under Wage Protection System so far

Qatar has brought most of the workers under Wage Protection System (WPS). Minister of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs H E Dr Issa bin Saad Al Jafali Al Nuaimi said yesterday that around 1.5 million workers, of the total 1.7 million in Qatar, have been covered under WPS so far. The system, launched in November last year, aims to ensure that all workers receive their salaries on time and no expatriate worker is left without a monthly income, and no illegal deductions from his wages are made.
22-Jun-16 Zawya Compiled by www.GroupL.ae

Oman HR News

Show us the money' say unpaid workers in Oman

Workers across Oman are facing serious salary delays with some waiting almost a year for wages. The hidden pay freeze is cutting across all sectors, with workers reporting salary delays in the health, the IT sector and in construction. Under Omani law, it is illegal to withhold a worker's salary for more than seven days after the due payment date falls. In the current economic downturn, many companies are feeling the squeeze, while others are blaming lack of government payments for their inability to pay up. Many workers are living off Iftar meals at mosques and find themselves unable to pay rent. Social workers say there has been a spike in the number of desperate people who, despite putting in the work, have been left penniless by their own employers. A Times of Oman investigation found that hundreds of workers at a hospital in Salalah, dozens of workers in an IT company in Muscat and dozens of workers in a construction company in Ibri are struggling to make ends meet as they have not been paid for at least five months.
21-Jun-16 Zawya Compiled by www.GroupL.ae

Five sectors at centre of Oman's five-year job creation drive

Manufacturing, logistics, tourism, fisheries and the mining sectors, will be the core receivers of Oman’s investments in the coming five years, Talal Al Rahbi, deputy secretary general of the Supreme Council for Planning told the Times of Oman (TOO). Al Rahbi added that the Council will conduct joint workshops with private sector representatives for two weeks between September and October. The seminars will cover details and decide on responsibilities, resources, and the financial allocation for implementation, the timetable for implementation and accurate measurement indicators.
21-Jun-16 Times of Oman Compiled by www.GroupL.ae

Monday, 20 June 2016

Skill Development HR News

India, Switzerland enhance cooperation in skill development

India and Switzerland today signed an agreement to establish formal cooperation in the fields of skills development and vocational and professional education and training. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed in Winterthur between State Secretary Mauro Dell' Ambrogio and Union Minister for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Rajiv Pratap Rudy. "With the signing of this agreement, the two countries intend to complement the existing commitment of Swiss and  Indian players to professional skills development and vocational and professional education and training. 
22-Jun-16 Economic Times Compiled by www.GroupL.ae

Labourers’ free training starts

Over half a million blue collar workers in Dubai are to benefit from free-of-charge training that has already commenced, led by the Permanent Committee for Labour Affairs in Dubai (PCLA) highlighting their rights, dues, occupational health and safety. The programme, which commenced from last week, will be conducted in three phases running beyond 2018. “The courses will be held at the labourer’s accommodation for workers, and it will be held after 7 pm. “Each session will last for 45 minutes, and it will be conducted in English, Arabic and Urdu,” said Major General Obaid Muhair Bin Surour, who is also the Deputy Director General of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA-Dubai), adding that workers will be given certificates of participation at the end of the course. He said the training sessions are divided into three main subjects: One course will be explaining the labour law such as contract, its terms and conditions. The second course will be on the culture of the country and the proper social manners. The third will deal with occupational health and safety.
21-Jun-16 Gulf Today Compiled by www.GroupL.ae

KSA plans to raise jobs in mining to 90,000 by 2020

The Kingdom will enhance strategic partnerships with major national companies to rehabilitate the national cadres in various sectors, including mining. The state-owned Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC) discussed the issue with the Saudi Arabian Mining Company "Ma'aden" to provide Saudi youth training in the field of mining. The scheme aims to increase the number of jobs in this sector to 90,000 by 2020 that would also raise its contribution to the GDP to SR97 billion, said a TVTC official.
20-Jun-16 Zawya Compiled by www.GroupL.ae

JCCI vows to prepare young Saudis for jobs in vegetable market

The Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry will offer training programs for Saudis who wish to work in the vegetable market. JCCI’s Fruit and Vegetables Committee member Jabbar Al-Bishi said the head of the chamber Saleh Kamil met with a number of vegetable traders to discuss how the vegetable market could be saudized. He added that following the meeting, the JCCI decided to offer training programs for Saudis to prepare them for work in the vegetable market.He said the training programs will prepare Saudis to work in open vegetable markets as well as retail food stores. “The chamber will train a batch of 100 young Saudi men and give them attractive salaries to motivate them to work in the field. The first batch will pave the way for many more batches. The program will have a duration of three months,” said Al-Bishi.
12-Jun-16 Saudi Gazette
Compiled by www.GroupL.ae

Test made mandatory for new expat engineers

The Saudi Council of Engineers (SCE) has decided to make it mandatory that all newly recruited foreign engineers should sit for a test and attend a personal interview. “The council also decided to put a condition that foreign engineers should have a minimum of three years’ experience to get employed in the Kingdom. We have taken this decision after finding 1,200 foreign engineers without experience,” Jamil Al-Bagawi, chief of the SCE was quoted by Makkah daily as saying. Al-Bagawi said these 1,200 newly graduated foreign engineers are employed here while 450 experienced Saudi engineers stay out of work seeking jobs.
09-Jun-16 Saudi Gazette Compiled by www.GroupL.ae

Jobs - HR News

UAE industries hiring today: new job index

Employment across the region continues to slow down in May but certain sectors are still looking for new staff. 
Job creation in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region continued to slow down in May 2016, reflecting the tightening of labour market conditions amid a low oil price environment and global economic uncertainty, a new report showed. However, new employment opportunities are still being offered by some companies in certain industries. Based on the hiring data compiled by Monster.com, there are hardly any new jobs available in industries like banking, financial services and insurance, where online recruitment dropped by 12 per cent in May from the same period in 2015. 
Hiring in oil and gas companies also remained sluggish, posting an 18 per cent decline. The hospitality industry registered the biggest decline at 32 per cent.
On the bright side, the healthcare sector continued to lead the charge in job creation in the UAE, registering a 34 per cent year-on-year growth. 
Businesses in the consumer goods, food,  home appliance, garments, textiles, leather, gems and jewellery also showed a big appetite for recruitment, which went up by 29 per cent.
Companies in the retail, trade and logistics are also worth looking into, with online job postings in the industry rising by 28 per cent.
Candidates that are in demand are healthcare professionals, as well as those with qualifications and experience in sales and business development and engineering and production.
26-Jun-16 Gulf News Compiled by www.GroupL.ae

Saudi eyes 2,000 jobs for car accident assessors

Saudi Arabia is reportedly planning to create 2,000 jobs for nationals as cost accessors of vehicles damaged in accidents by the end of 2017. Arab News cited a local publication as saying the assessors would be trained by a British non-profit Thatcham Center from the fourth quarter of the year. The Saudi Authority for Accredited Valuers (Taqeem) initiative will work with the national traffic department to create an electronic system linked with government and private agencies and reduce waiting times for clients.
22-Jun-16 Gulf Business Compiled by www.GroupL.ae

Job opportunities increase in UAE, Bahrain

“Slow global economic recovery, cheap oil and regional instability have adversely hit the GCC economic and business confidence; while Bahrain and UAE continue to exhibit growth in hiring at a moderate pace, e-recruitment activity in the region slipped 17 per cent below the corresponding period a year-ago,” said Sanjay Modi, Managing Director – APAC and Middle East, Monster.com. In the UAE this month, healthcare is leading the industry growth charts, with a 34 per cent growth in online job posts year-on-year. At the same time, healthcare is also the most in-demand job role, growing at 35 per cent.
The second best performing industry in the UAE is Consumer Goods/FMCG, Food & Packaged Food, Home Appliance, Garments/Textiles/Leather, Gems & Jewellery, with 29 per cent growth in online job posts. Although registering one of the steepest declines among the industry sectors monitored by the Index, Retail/Trade and Logistics follows with a growth of 28 per cent in job opportunities posted online year on year to May 2016. The outlook is the gloomy for BFSI, with the industry exhibiting a negative drop of 12 per cent; while Hospitality sector plunges the most, with online recruitment activity registering a negative 32 per cent growth in May 2016 as compared to the previous year.
22-Jun-16 CPI Financial Compiled by www.GroupL.ae

Jumeirah Group appoints new Mina A’Salam general manager

Jumeirah Group has appointed Andy Cuthbert as general manager of the Mina A’Salam at Madinat Jumeirah, the Dubai-based luxury hotel company announced. Cuthbert will also continue his current role as currently general manager of conference and events at Madinat Jumeirah and Jumeirah Hospitality. The Australian has more than 30 years of experience in the hospitality and catering industry.
20-Jun-16 Arabian Business Compiled by www.GroupL.ae

Emirates to recruit more than 700 pilots in 2016

Emirates will recruit more than 700 pilots in 2016 to keep up with the demand of operating its expanding fleet. Emirates has more than 1,400 pilots on its A380 fleet and more than 2,500 pilots on the Boeing 777 fleet, and expects to recruit more than 700 more pilots this year, much higher than the 500 predicted by Gary Chapman earlier in 2016.
20-Jun-16 Arabian Business Compiled by www.GroupL.ae

KSA plans to raise jobs in mining to 90,000 by 2020

The Kingdom will enhance strategic partnerships with major national companies to rehabilitate the national cadres in various sectors, including mining. The state-owned Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC) discussed the issue with the Saudi Arabian Mining Company "Ma'aden" to provide Saudi youth training in the field of mining. The scheme aims to increase the number of jobs in this sector to 90,000 by 2020 that would also raise its contribution to the GDP to SR97 billion, said a TVTC official.
20-Jun-16 Zawya Compiled by www.GroupL.ae

Another Dubai medical group raises job scam alert

After a UAE based medical group reported a job scam targeting top doctors last month, another medical entity has come forward with the same claims. The Dubai London Clinic has said that fraudulent job offers were being sent out to medical professionals using the name of the clinic. Scammers are sending out professionally designed job offer letters asking 'potential candidates' to pay Dh5,000 as visa processing fee in exchange for a salary package of anywhere between Dh35,000 to 50,000 plus a wide range of benefits. 
06-Jun-16 Khaleej Times
Compiled by www.GroupL.ae

Ralph Lauren to cut about 1,000 jobs, shut shops

Ralph Lauren Corp is cutting about 1,000 jobs and closing 50 stores as part of a sweeping plan to lower costs and revive sales growth at the luxury fashion brand. The jobs being eliminated represent about 8 percent of the company's full-time jobs, spokesman Ryan Lally told Reuters.
07-Jun-16 Khaleej Times Compiled by www.GroupL.ae

Oman Airports Management Company agreement to create 500 new jobs

Passengers should receive better services and 500 jobs could be created with the awarding of a ground handling contract by Oman Airports Management Company (OAMC). Bosses at the company – in charge of the existing and the new Muscat International Airport project, have signed a strategic contract with Swissport International and an Oman Air and Menzies Aviation joint venture (JV). The contract will see Swissport, Oman Air and Menzies provide ground handling services at both the old and new Muscat International Airport for a decade, beginning from January 2017, which will also result in 500 jobs.
07-Jun-16 Times of Oman Compiled by www.GroupL.ae

Uber to create 100,000 jobs in Saudi Arabia

Uber Technologies Inc, the American multinational online transportation network company, has announced that it will provide more than 100,000 job opportunities in the Kingdom in the coming years. The company said that the number of taxi drivers it currently employs exceeds 9,000 in the Kingdom, the Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper said, quoting a company source, on Sunday. Thousand of drivers will join its fleet in the Kingdom every month, said the source while referring to the recent announcement by Saudi state’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) to invest $3.5 billion in Uber.
07-Jun-16 Albawaba Compiled by www.GroupL.ae

Almarai’s new five-year plan aims at SAR14.5 billion capex, 4,500 jobs

Saudi dairy giant Almarai said on Thursday (June 9) that its board of directors has approved a new version of the company’s five-year business plan, which will cover the period from 2017 to 2021. The new plan reflects the recent global and regional economic developments, as well as the implications of the Saudi Arabia Vision 2030 programme, Almarai said in a stock exchange filing. The company also plans create 4,500 jobs for Saudi nationals, out of which 20 per cent will be for females, during the five-year period.
09-Jun-16 AME Info Compiled by www.GroupL.ae

Anantara gave jobs to more than 70 Omanis ahead of launch

Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar has employed over 70 local Omani nationals to make up the pre-opening team, the resort said in a statement. “Set to be the highest five-star resort in the Middle East, Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar aims to employ over 95 Omani employees in the coming years, which will represent 35 per cent of the 291-strong team,” the statement added.
12-Jun-16 Times of Oman Compiled by www.GroupL.ae

Dubai Parks hires 744; seeks more

Dubai Parks and Resorts, set to become the Middle East's largest integrated theme park destination on its opening in October this year, has announced that it has appointed 744 Emirati employees since the launch of its ambitious Emiratisation programme which aims to hire 1,000 UAE nationals. Dubai Parks and Resorts set out an ambitious Emiratisation plan last year to recruit 1,000 Emiratis.
15-Jun-16 Emirates 247 Compiled by www.GroupL.ae

Job insecurity on the rise for region's hoteliers

A higher percentage of hoteliers are expressing sentiments of job insecurity compared to last year, in light of the current geopolitical and economic situation. In the 2015 edition of the Hotelier Middle East Salary Survey, 23.8% of participants said they felt less secure than they did 12 months ago. This year, 38.8% expressed the same. Sources have told Hotelier that the job market isn’t conducive to new opportunities at the moment, while others have reported pay freezes in their companies.
16-Jun-16 Hotelier Middle East Compiled by www.GroupL.ae

UAE recruiter warns of 'mass exodus' of expats due to high costs, lack of jobs

Cost of living increases and an uncertain jobs market could see a “mass exodus” of expats from the UAE, said a recruitment expert. The fallout from the oil price slump means some expats can no longer afford to live in the emirates, Trefor Murphy, MENA managing director for recruitment consultancy Morgan McKinley told The National. “Starting with oil and gas, then banking and financial services, in general, recruitment has seen bit of a dive. If you lose a job in these sectors at the moment, it is more difficult to get new work.
19-Jun-16 Arabian Busines Compiled by www.GroupL.ae

Jumeirah Restaurant Group announces redundancies

Homegrown restaurant management company Jumeirah Restaurant Group (JRG Dubai) made a number of redundancies last week, including at least one director level position. The news follows the closure on June 5 of one of the company's restaurant's, Rivington Grill in Souk Al Bahar, which had been operating for eight years. 
20-Jun-16 Arabian Business Compiled by www.GroupL.ae


Oman, GCC countries must encourage expat labour mobility

Oman and its five economic partners in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) must remove obstacles for expatriate workers and allow them to move freely to transfer their skills and boost business growth.
At the moment, expat workers face problems when they want to move from one GCC state to another. Each country has its own laws and restrictions imposed on migration. One of the biggest obstacles is for expats, who wish to transfer their business investments or open a branch in another GCC country. Expat workers also face barriers when their sponsors want to transfer them to another GCC country because labour rules are not compatible.
Oman and its GCC partners need to encourage workers to move to where they can find jobs or set up trade. Expats also find it baffling when their qualifications are only recognised in some GCC countries, but rejected by the rest. For Oman and the GCC to become a true single market, labour requirements must be standardised for non-nationals. GCC nationals enjoy all the job and investment facilities available in each other’s countries. However, the same facilities are out of reach for resident expatriates.
25-Jun-16 Times of Oman Compiled by www.GroupL.ae

Employees in Dubai’s free zones to have unified labour contract

Employees in all the free zones of Dubai will have a unified employment contract under a new proposal discussed by a higher body. Chaired by Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Free Zone (DFZ) Council, the meeting debated unifying of labour contracts for workers in these hubs in accordance with the labour laws of the UAE. Sheikh Ahmed directed the Council members to put together a sample contract for working within the free zone areas. Starting January 1, 2016, the UAE implemented new labour contract that standardises employment terms.
22-Jun-16 Emirates 247 Compiled by www.GroupL.ae

Qatar tells India new labour reforms will improve life for its workers

Qatar has reassured India that labour reforms will improve the conditions of more than half a million Indian migrants, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi raised concerns of abuses during a weekend visit to the Gulf state, a statement said on Monday. Qatar is home to 630,000 Indian nationals, the single largest group of migrants in the country of 2 million. Many work in low paid construction jobs, building stadiums and other infrastructure for the 2022 World Cup.
07-Jun-16 Arabian Business
Compiled by www.GroupL.ae

Cheap oil binges on job cuts

The oil price rout since mid-2014 has cost many their jobs in the oil and gas industry worldwide. The latest figures from a lobby group in the UK reveals that the country’s industry will shed 120,000 jobs by end of the year. The major economies in the oil-hit Middle East region also have seen mass lay-offs. Several local and international banks in the UAE also collectively slashed 1,100 jobs since November last year. In Qatar, state-controlled firms such as Qatar Petroleum and Qatar Rail have laid off staff. The Doha-based Al Jazeera media network announced in March that it was cutting 500 jobs. Reduced government spending and slowing economic growth with a grim outlook have forced both governmental agencies and private firms to undertake several cost-optimisation, measures including a reduction in headcount. However, experts say this is not the time to fire employees despite hardships and fiscal challenges.
12-Jun-16 AME Info
Compiled by www.GroupL.ae

ME jobs: UAE tops region with most listed vacancies

The UAE is offering the maximum number of jobs to candidates in the Middle East region. The latest Monster employment index for April 2016, showed the UAE exhibited the most positive employment growth among its neighbouring countries, with hiring activity growing at 18 per cent in April 2016 as compared to the same period a year ago. Bahrain was second on the list with a modest 5 percent year-on-year growth. While the growth momentum eased further in UAE from 24 percent in March 2016, Bahrain recorded a positive annual growth following negative growth rates since November 2015.
12-Jun-16 Emirates 247
Compiled by www.GroupL.ae

Oman sees decrease in expatriates working in managerial positions

Oman has seen a decrease in expatriates working as managers in the private sector, according to data released by the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI). The decrease is seemingly related to Oman’s push to afford better job opportunities for nationals, as unemployment has risen due to the slump in oil prices. A three per cent drop in the number of expatriate managers has been recorded in the first half of 2016.
13-Jun-16 Gulf News
Compiled by www.GroupL.ae

‘Nepotism’ report causes furore in Oman

A major controversy has erupted in Oman after a local newspaper accused a high-profile minister of nepotism in a news report. A number of top officials in the government were named by Azamn newspaper for having used their personal position and influence to employ their own children as well as those of senior officials in government departments. The alleged revelation caused furore on social media, with hashtags being launched in criticism of the ‘wasta’ trend which refers to abuse of positions of power and influence.
14-Jun-16 Gulf News
Compiled by www.GroupL.ae

Saudi HR News

‘Best-paying jobs for Saudi’

As the Ministry of Labor and Social Development continues to implement the directive of Saudizing mobile phone sales and maintenance jobs, telecom complexes across the Kingdom have complied with the drive by urging shops to hang signs that say ‘Best-paying jobs for Saudi nationals’. Managers of shopping complexes have shown commitment to social responsibility by nationalizing telecommunication jobs and placing their trust in Saudi men and women to run mobile business as well as cooperating with various sectors and government agencies, a ministry press statement said on Wednesday. It is expected that 30,000 jobs for Saudi nationals will be available in the telecom sector in the light of wide-range support from the ministry and its affiliates that provided apprenticeship.
23-Jun-16 Saudi Gazette Compiled by www.GroupL.ae

Indians dominate Saudi pvt. sector workforce

As many as 2.2 million Indian nationals, representing about 20 percent, are employed by the private sector in Saudi Arabia topping all other nationalities working in this sector especially those from the sub-continent, local daily Al-Madina reported on Tuesday quoting official figures released by the Ministry of Labor and Social Development. According to the ministry, 1.8 million Pakistanis, 1 million Egyptians, 0.45 million Filipinos, made up a bulk of the workforce. 
22-Jun-16 Saudi Gazette Compiled by www.GroupL.ae

KSA plans to raise jobs in mining to 90,000 by 2020

The Kingdom will enhance strategic partnerships with major national companies to rehabilitate the national cadres in various sectors, including mining. The state-owned Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC) discussed the issue with the Saudi Arabian Mining Company "Ma'aden" to provide Saudi youth training in the field of mining. The scheme aims to increase the number of jobs in this sector to 90,000 by 2020 that would also raise its contribution to the GDP to SR97 billion, said a TVTC official.
20-Jun-16 Zawya Compiled by www.GroupL.ae

Saudi labour minister reassures expatriate workers

There is "no strategic target" in place to reduce the number of expats in the kingdom, Saudi Arabia's labour minister reportedly said. Minister of Labour and Social Development, Dr Mufrej Al Haqbani, said up to 9 million expats work in the kingdom. Haqbani, according to BNA, was speaking at the launch of the National Transformation Programme, which includes the creation of 1.3 million jobs for Saudis in the years to come. 
11-Jun-16 Construction Week
Compiled by www.GroupL.ae

Saudi Arabia puts focus on jobs firmly at heart of reforms

Saudi Arabia plans to spend billions of riyals on technical training and other initiatives to boost the number of its citizens in private sector jobs, an economic reform plan released on Monday showed. The world's top oil exporter has been pushing labour reforms for years aimed at reducing the burden of employment on the state, but Monday's plans spelled out new details of how this might be achieved in a range of economic sectors.
07-Jun-16 Arabian Business
Compiled by www.GroupL.ae

Saudi Binladin pay delayed salaries to employees

The Saudi Binladin Group (SBG) has started paying employees their salaries which have been delayed by around five months. The payments, along with letters of termination, were made at the company's head office in Hamadaniyah district in east Jeddah, the Saudi Gazette reported. A number of the terminated workers said they will now, either, look for other jobs with new sponsors or depart for their respective homes.
06-Jun-16 Construction Week
Compiled by www.GroupL.ae

Movers - HR News

Dubai-based pay TV network OSN appoints new CEO

Dubai-based pay TV network OSN announced that it has appointed Martin Stewart as its new chief executive officer. Stewart replaces David Butorac, who served as OSN’s CEO from 2010. No reason was given for Butorac’s departure from the company. Previously director general of ONO, a Spanish broadband company, Stewart also earlier served as the chief financial officer for European entertainment company Sky.
13-Jun-16 Gulf Business
Compiled by www.GroupL.ae

ENOC group CEO appointed Gulf Energy Maritime chairman

The chief executive officer of Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC) Saif Humaid Al Falasi has been announced as the new chairman of shipping company Gulf Energy Maritime (GEM). The move comes in line with the GEM shareholders’ agreement, which stipulates that the chairmanship must rotate every three years between IPIC and ENOC – two of the company’s major shareholders.
13-Jun-16 Gulf Business
Compiled by www.GroupL.ae

BNP Paribas Middle East COO leaves amid global retrenchment

The Middle East COO of BNP Paribas has left his post amid a huge restructuring at the French bank that is expected to see up to 150 jobs lost in the region. Christophe Mukerjee, Bahrain-based COO for Middle East & Africa, is understood to have announced his departure in the past month and intends to return to France where he is from.
19-Jun-16Arabian Business
Compiled by www.GroupL.ae

Al Naboodah Construction CEO to step down

The long-serving CEO of the Dubai-based Al Naboodah Construction Group is to step down from July 1, 2016, the company has announced in a statement. After nearly 30 years of service with the company, Steve Lever has decided to step down to take on a strategic advisory role with the company. Al Naboodah’s current chief operating officer Colin Timmons has been appointed as his successor, the statement added.
20-Jun-16 ME Construction
Compiled by www.GroupL.ae


UAE salaries to rise 4.6% in 2017, down from 4.9% in 2016

New report says employees in Saudi, Qatar and Kuwait can expect higher wage hikes next year. Salaries in the United Arab Emirates are set to rise by an average of 4.6 per cent in 2017, down from an average increase of 4.9 per cent this year, according to a new report from advisory firm Willis Towers Watson. The reduction in the pay hike is a result of the shifting economic conditions globally and regionally, that has impacted pay and benefits, explained senior consultant and Data Services lead for the Middle East at Willis Towers Watson Laurent Leclère.
14-Jun-16   Gulf Business
Compiled by www.GroupL.ae

Abu Dhabi Plan aims to reduce Emirati unemployment by half

Plans to cut unemployment rates among UAE nationals by about half, increase Emiratisation in both public and semi-public sectors, and ensure nearly every child in the emirate is literate by 2020 are some of the measures under the Abu Dhabi Plan. 
15-Jun-16 The National
Compiled by www.GroupL.ae

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Skilled manpower in Middle East Facility Management

Skilled manpower in the Middle East. Is this a misnomer? Speak to any manager in FM operations and the lack of skilled staff is perhaps among the first points that will come up.
While a skill gap exists in almost every industry, the issue has far reaching consequences in the FM industry particularly. The nature of the job mandates that workers are not minutely supervised, which can lead to a cascading series of errors.
For example, most cleaners working in the Middle East have little prior experience of working in smart premises nor do they have the requisite training. How then would they know the correct dilution for cleaning liquids? Do they even know how to read and respond to alerts?  What happens if they apply the wrong chemical to a surface and it gets damaged? Who bears the cost of errors?
Conversely, a well trained FM worker can spruce-up the image of the FM company. This can also help the FM company attract new business and often at much better paying rates. It is therefore the pressing need for all stakeholders in the FM industry to equip their workers with the correct skills to do their job with pride.
Enter GroupL, a ‘not only for profit’ social enterprise. GroupL is a FM company in India with an extensive training infrastructure to cater to its internal needs. It has exported the training from India to over 10 countries in South Asia, South East Asia and Africa. FM Today spoke with Kabir Luthra on how GroupL can help the Middle East FM industry recruit skilled employees from these countries.

Who is GroupL?
We are a 42 year old company with roots in Kolkata, India. We started life as a security company providing manned guards and gradually expanded to cleaning services and facility management within India only. In the Middle East we are a workforce solutions company which provides training and ethical recruitment services to end employers. We focus on the entry level workers in each organisation who most require a standardised method of learning.
GroupL is associated with various government bodies in the UAE and in India to establish skill development through an entire industry. We believe in ethically recruiting candidates as per laws local to each country. Candidates sourced, trained and recruited through us reach their place of employment completely job-ready.

What are GroupL’s focus areas and target segments?
At GroupL we are concentrating on developing our recruitment and training network across additional countries, building a repository of curriculum and developing technologies to deliver standardised training content across borders. We presently offer training in segments such as security, cleaning, FM, soft skills and retail. Our plan is to roll out this training to the hospitality, fast-food and healthcare industries as well shortly.

What are the top five skills employers look for?
The absolute most important skill that employers look for is presentability. This is not usually pointed out as important factor, but in any interaction the appearance of the other person forms the basis of how the communication will flow.
This is closely followed by communication – verbal, written and body language. Candidates must be able to present their point of view clearly and confidently.
An important aspect of working is being able to get along with others. Hence teamwork will always remain a key skill.
Though difficult to evaluate in a short interview, employers like to see people with drive and who are self-motivated. It makes their job of getting you to do the job so much easier then.
Employers prefer candidates who understand the commercial realities that affect an organisation. In short, how does my work affect the company’s bottom line? Here, technical skills play a major role.

Can you take us through the entire process you follow?
The present system that we follow starts with the end employer (FM company) giving us an order to recruit people from a certain country. Our teams then source and shortlist a pool of candidates. The employer’s representative then conducts the interviews and selects the final candidates. While the selected candidates await their visa, they undergo training appropriate for their job role, thereby making them job ready for final employment in the Middle East.
For some clients we have even conducted additional training once the candidates have arrived in the Middle East and commenced employment.

How are the training programmes developed?
Most of the courses offered by us are aligned to the requirements of the industries. The course curriculum is designed by veterans who are still involved in their respective industry. We have had to be flexible in terms of modifying courses to suit different organisations requirements.
Each of the courses include aspects of life in the middle east, cultural differences with their home country and soft skills like appearance, communication, teamwork, basic English and customer handling.

Where do you see this initiative in a few years from now?

Our dream is to have institutions spread across the source countries where people are up-skilled continually. To put it crudely, it would work like a manpower factory. Students who successfully complete the course are then offered apprenticeship with end employers in the Middle East. The apprenticeship would eventually result in permanent employment. For this to happen, our understanding of the evolving skill gaps would have to remain up-to-date and we would need to work closely with a large number of potential employers. 

HR News 250416 | Offshore UAE visa offices to crack down on rogue agents

Offshore UAE visa offices to crack down on rogue agents
The opening of new visa offices abroad to serve expats moving to the UAE will help to phase out unscrupulous agents from the recruitment process, embassy officials have said. Job offers will be signed and copies taken by UAE officials before the employee accepting the job had left their home country. This would mean that an employer could not alter the working conditions or salary when they arrive in the UAE. The worker would also receive their visa before they left their home country. First phase – Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Kenya and Bangladesh. Second phase – which will be completed this year – India, Egypt, Tunisia, Lebanon, Senegal and Nigeria. Third phase – by 2017 – Pakistan, Egypt and Nigeria.
Source 24-Apr-16 7Days Compiled by www.GroupL.ae
Filipino workers in GCC escape major job losses in era of cheap oil
While Qatari Diar Vinci Construction (QDVC), which has projects including the Doha Metro and Lusail light rail network ongoing, has cut jobs, most of the 2.5 million Filipino workers in the region remain unaffected so far, the Philippines Government said in a statement. The statement added that Filipino job numbers in the UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Oman were holding up in the new era of cheap oil.
Source 09-Apr-16 Arabian Business Compiled by www.GroupL.ae
Emaar Properties group CEO stands down from role
Emaar Properties has announed that Abdullah Lahej has resigned as group chief executive officer. Amit Jain, the group's chief operating officer, will handle Lahej's responsibilities, the company said in a statement posted on Dubai Financial Market's website. Emaar Properties did not elaborate further on Lahej's resignation.
Source 10-Apr-16 Construction Week Compiled by www.GroupL.ae
No expat recruitment if qualified Saudis available
The private sector will be allowed to recruit foreign manpower from outside only if there are no qualified Saudis to take the jobs the employers are looking for, according Human Resources Development Fund (Hadaf). The recruitment process will be transferred to the Labour Ministry's electronic National Gate for Jobs to give chance to the Saudi workforce, reported Saudi Gazette
Source 12-Apr-16 Khaleej Times Compiled by www.GroupL.ae
Betsi Cadwaladr to recruit nurses from the Philippines
The search for nurses to fill posts in North Wales could be extended to the Philippines. In the long term the health board needs to recruit more full-time nurses rather than depending on bank and agency staff. Further overseas recruitment is planned and BCUHB are exploring recruitment in the Philippines as part of an all-Wales overseas plan.
Source 12-Apr-16 Daily Post Compiled by www.GroupL.ae
India not to be hit by lower remittances from Gulf region: Moody's
In a report titled `Falling Remittances from the Gulf Dampen Benefits of Lower Oil Prices', Moody's said a more pronounced and prolonged oil price decline, coupled with fiscal tightening in many oil exporting countries, is likely to hurt migrant worker earnings and remittances. For India, the Philippines and Vietnam, diversified locations and vocations of overseas migrants could help to reduce the fall in worker remittances. 
Source 13-Apr-16 Daiji World Compiled by www.GroupL.ae
Missing Ugandan maid fuels fears of abuse in Saudi Arabia
Jannat Mubiru has heard nothing from her daughter since the 27-year-old called to say she had arrived safely in Riyadh, where she was due to start work as a maid five months ago. In January, the Ugandan government announced a ban with immediate effect on the recruitment of Ugandans as domestic workers in Saudi Arabia, after the local media reported cases of abuse and mistreatment.
Source 13-Apr-16 Arabian Business Compiled by www.GroupL.ae
Etisalat lays off over 800 expats in the last two years
United Arab Emirates telecoms operator Etisalat laid off hundreds of expatriates staff over the last two years as it streamlined operations, according to its chief executive officer. However, he also clarified that during the same period between 2014 and 2016, the company hired 653 people including 218 Emiratis and 435 expatriates “in specific fields that require certain types of skills and expertise.”
Source 13-Apr-16 Gulf Business Compiled by www.GroupL.ae
Dubai Taxi Corp says to measure happiness of 11,000 drivers
The Dubai Taxi Corporation (DTC) has rolled out a Happiness Indicator with the aim of measuring contentment among more than 11,000 drivers and other staff. The unit of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) said the move is part of its endeavours to raise the satisfaction of employees and motivate them to increase productivity.
Source 14-Apr-16 Arabian Business Compiled by www.GroupL.ae
State for curbs on nurses recruitment agencies
The [Kerala] State government has decided to implead in a Delhi High Court case filed by private recruitment agencies, challenging the Central government order restricting recruitment of nurses for overseas employment to State-owned agencies. It has also objected to the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs’ intervening order in January, permitting 10 private agencies to recruit nurses for employment in the Ministry of Health, Saudi Arabia.
Source 14-Apr-16 The Hindu Compiled by www.GroupL.ae
OWWA membership a must for Filipinos
The new Philippine Labour Attaché for Dubai and the Northern Emirates, Ofelia B. Domingo, is encouraging all her legally employed countrymen to register and activate their bi-annual membership dues at the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA). This is to document them properly so they can avail of all the programmes and services of the agency tasked to promote and protect the welfare and well-being of all overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
Source 14-Apr-16 The Gulf Today Compiled by www.GroupL.ae
Recruitment more selective in UAE due to low oil price
Low oil prices have resulted in more selective recruiting, so jobseekers must put an emphasis on what they bring to the company, experts say. The few employers still recruiting are looking at attracting staff who are more productive, with the candidates’ experience now more important than ever.
Source 14-Apr-16 The National Compiled by www.GroupL.ae
MoL project to stamp out 'sale of visas'
Riyadh - The Ministry of Labor (MoL) will soon begin work on a project to reduce recruitment from abroad through "sale of visas." This, the ministry thinks, will provide job opportunities for Saudis and expats residing in the Kingdom, a local publication reported.
Source 16-Apr-16 Zawya Compiled by www.GroupL.ae
Factories must employ minimum of 10 women
The [Saudi] Ministry of Labor has made it obligatory upon factory owners to employ a minimum of 10 women in all phases of the production line while urging them to absorb as many females as possible. The new amendments have also defined the working hours for women, that is between 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. in factories and private sector establishments, a source in the ministry was quoted as saying by local media on Saturday.
Source 17-Apr-16 Zawya Compiled by www.GroupL.ae
Thousands of oil workers go on strike in Kuwait
Thousands of Kuwait’s oil workers began an open-ended strike on Sunday in protest at plans to cut their wages, action which saw the emirate’s crude production plunge. “This open-ended strike will continue until the workers’ demands are met," the oil workers union chief Saif Al Qahtani said.
Source 17-Apr-16 The National Compiled by www.GroupL.ae
Balfour Beatty 'seriously' reviewing Qatar claims
A report by UK daily the Guardian said migrant workers employed on BK Gulf's large-scale construction projects have faced abuse of their labour rights. The report continued: "One labourer, employed by a supply company but working for GCC, which is 49% owned by Interserve, said he repeatedly asked his employer to let him leave Qatar after his salary was cut by 20%, but he was forced to stay." In response, Balfour Beatty said BK Gulf "takes the claims" very seriously. A statement to Construction Week by Balfour Beatty said: "BK Gulf, in which Balfour Beatty has a 49% share, provides conditions for its workforce which go over and above local regulations and laws. "Where workload exceeds our directly employed workforce capacity or where specialist skills are required, BK Gulf utilises a selection of labour supply companies."
Source 17-Apr-16 Construction Week Compiled by www.GroupL.ae
Labourer in UAE robbed to get deported
A labourer desperate to see his new wife broke into a number of shops in the hope of being deported. But, his plan has backfired after a court sentenced the Bangladeshi construction worker to four years in prison for breaking into grocery shops and stealing cigarettes and small amounts of cash.
Source 17-Apr-16 7Days Compiled by www.GroupL.ae
Transguard cleaner awarded for returning lost cash
A cleaner attached to the Transguard Group has recently been recognised for locating and returning a bag containing roughly $27,000 (AED 100,000) in cash to its rightful owner. In recognition of his integrity and dedication, Nisham Kunnath Valappil was awarded during the annual Transguard staff party. Valappil received the Star of the Year trophy, a cash bonus, plane ticket home, as well as an extra seven days’ holiday. The entire episode occurred whilst Valappil conducted his daily rounds at the Dubai Festival City Mall.
Source 18-Apr-16 Construction Week Compiled by www.GroupL.ae
14 workers held for flouting labour laws
 The Dubai Police have arrested 14 workers for flouting the labour laws. The arrests were made following a surprise crackdown on 1,240 houses in Al Barsha. "The crackdown had been launched as a preemptive measure against the risks and dangers posed and caused by the labour law violators," Abdullah Ahmed Al Sehi said.
Source 18-Apr-16 Khaleej Times Compiled by www.GroupL.ae
Emirati job seekers eye multi-industry employment avenues
Dubai, United Arab Emirates - As Dubai forges on with its historic Expo 2020 preparations, Emirati job seekers will tap into thousands of new employment avenues at the 16th edition of Careers UAE - the country's leading recruitment, training and education exhibition for UAE nationals. 
Source 19-Apr-16 Zawya Compiled by www.GroupL.ae
No gratuity if you are always late to work: UAE HR Ministry
Employees who are sacked because of their failure to abide by work timings are not entitled for gratuity, according to the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization. The Ministry outlined such a rule in a response to a query by an employer who complained that some of his workers persistently fail to come to office on time despite his repeated warnings that their services could be terminated.
Source 20-Apr-16 Emirates 24/7 Compiled by www.GroupL.ae
Minimum labour wage proposed to lift Saudi Nitaqat
The Federation of Labour Committees (FLC) in Saudi Arabia has called for fixing a minimum salary for Saudi workers in the private sector to achieve labour market stability. The fixing of minimum salary by legislative authorities and provision of incentives to Saudi youth would realise the objectives of both the government and employers, according to FLC's chairman.
Source 20-Apr-16 Construction Week Compiled by www.GroupL.ae
50 companies confirm participation in Taqdeer Award
ajor General Obaid Muhair Bin Suroor, Deputy Director General, General Directorate for Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai, Chairman of Taqdeer Award and Chairman of the Permanent Committee of Labour Affairs in Dubai, said the Taqdeer Award has received tremendous response from construction companies in Dubai. The Taqdeer Award will enhance relationship between companies and workers by recognizing excellence in labour practices and setting new benchmarks in work practices across sectors in Dubai.
Source 20-Apr-16 Zawya Compiled by www.GroupL.ae
Have a dispute with your employer? UAE ministry tells you what to do
In case of labour disputes, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation gives the parties involved 48 hours to settle the issue amicably before it is officially recorded at the ministry, according to a report in Al Bayan daily. The first step is to file a complaint with Tas’heel centre. In the next 48 hours, if both the parties reach an amicable settlement, then the complaint will be closed at the Tas’heel centre. If the parties do not reach a settlement in the next two days, then the complaint will be forwarded to the Ministry. The Ministry’s Tawasol department will get in touch with both the parties within three working days and try to resolve the issue in a friendly manner. If one of the parties do not oblige, then legal procedures will follow.
Source 20-Apr-16 Emirates 24/7 Compiled by www.GroupL.ae
Arabtec chairman eyes cost-saving job cuts in 2016
Dubai contractor Arabtec said it could break even this year and make a profit in 2017 as the company looks to reduce costs through layoffs and streamlining of activities. He declined to specify how many jobs might go or how much could be made in savings. 
Source 21-Apr-16 Construction Week Compiled by www.GroupL.ae
FIFA to monitor labour conditions at Qatar 2022 World Cup sites
FIFA will create a panel to monitor construction at 2022 World Cup stadiums in Qatar to ensure “decent working conditions”. During his first working visit to Qatar, FIFA president Gianni Infantino said the group will include “relevant sectors of civil society and other relevant FIFA stakeholders”. Amnesty International welcomed “steps in the right direction” announced by the FIFA president, who was elected two months ago.
Source 24-Apr-16 7Days Compiled by www.GroupL.ae
Angry Dubai worker destroys bowling centre over visa refusal
A man wrecked the bowling centre where he worked, smashing windows, televisions and setting chairs on fire, when his employer refused to change his visa status, Dubai Criminal Court heard on Sunday. The 27-year-old Egyptian was working at Dubai Bowling Centre but only had a visit visa. When the manager refused to offer him a residency visa after a few months, he allegedly started tearing the place up.
Source 24-Apr-16 The National Compiled by www.GroupL.ae
Special court for workers planned in Oman
A special court dedicated to settling labour disputes in Oman is to be created, with a senior Ministry of Manpower official confirming the process is already underway. At present, Oman doesn't have a dedicated court to deal with labour disputes, which are currently handled in the general courts.
Source 24-Apr-16 Zawya Compiled by www.GroupL.ae
Imdaad opens staff accommodation complex in Dubai
The 299,902ft2 Jebel Ali complex, which means the Arabic for ‘My Home', houses 3,000 employees. Imdaad Manzeli’s construction works for the second, third and fourth phases are expected to be completed in the next two months. Jamal Abdullah Lootah, CEO, Imdaad, said:  “This project is only a start for us and we will be rolling out more similar initiatives to attract more talent to join Imdaad.”
Source 25-Apr-16 Construction Week Compiled by www.GroupL.ae
Dubai employee wins over Dh5m damages for delayed wages
In a historic case, an employee working for a company based in the DIFC has been awarded a penalty payment expected to be in excess of Dhs 5.5 million against his employer for non-payment of dues. The claimant was employed as the managing director of the company until his employment was terminated on 30 June 2013. The claimant alleged that the defendant failed to pay his salary or provide his other employment benefits within 14 days from the termination date. 
Source 25-Apr-16 Emirates 24/7 Compiled by www.GroupL.ae
Labour rights’ awareness campaigns spread
Over 200 workers participated in a workshop held by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation at the Tekab Co Ltd. labour accommodation located in Sharjah, as part of the ongoing “Know Your Rights” campaigns that had been launched by the Minister, Saqr Ghobash, earlier this year. Several booklets were distributed among the participants, each included legal guidelines about rights and obligations about how to deal with labour disputes, as well as specific instructions to shift to a new job and so. The booklets are printed in 11 different languages.
Source 25-Apr-16 The Gulf Today Compiled by www.GroupL.ae