AFAQ graduates at the graduation ceremony
The National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD), the Number One Bank in the UAE, hosted a special graduation ceremony for its AFAQ Management Trainee Programme at the Bank’s head office in Abu Dhabi.
The ceremony graduated 36 UAE nationals who successfully completed and received an internationally-acclaimed professional Diploma in Banking and Finance.
NBAD’s AFAQ, a prestigious one-year programme, is delivered in collaboration with ifs School of Finance (UK) and Zayed University at the state-of-the-art NBAD Academy. The programme aims to equip trainees with the necessary knowledge and skills for fast track management careers with NBAD.
“We are very proud of our graduates' commitment and achievements,” said Michael H. Tomalin, the NBAD Group Chief Executive. “NBAD’s considerable investment in training of its employees in this prestigious programme is a direct result of the Bank’s strong learning culture and our commitment to be a centre of excellence in the region dedicated to creating tomorrow’s leaders.”
Mr. Tomalin told the graduates: “We are confident that you will play a key role in the growth and success of NBAD in achieving its vision to be recognised as the World’s Best Arab Bank.”
The graduation ceremony was attended by H.E. Mohammed Omar Abdulla, Undersecretary of Department of Economic Development and NBAD Board member, members of the senior management of the Bank, representatives from ifs School of Finance (UK) and Zayed University as well as family members of the AFAQ graduates.
Under the AFAQ programme, recent college graduates spend the first year of their employment at NBAD Academy where they learn about the financial services industry such as branch operations, financial markets and risk management, marketing, and Islamic banking. During this period, they enjoy full employment benefits including holidays.
“Human capital is a driving engine of the country’s development and investing on young Emiratis is inline with strategies to support Abu Dhabi Vision 2030,” said Ehab Anis Hassan, the Group Chief Human Resources Officer. “The ifs Diploma is a remarkable programme that we offer the UAE nationals to assure they get the best and most up-to-date information and skills in the financial services industry.”
NBAD also offers other Emiratisation programmes to attract, retain, and develop best qualified UAE nationals who wish to pursue a career in financial services industry. Under the National Trainee Development -Al Bedayah- the Bank offers high school graduates the chance to pursue a career path at branches or department while availing to them excellent training at NBAD Academy. Moreover, NBAD sponsors enrolled university students by paying a monthly allowance and offers them internship. The nationals in this programme are guaranteed recruitment upon graduation.
“NBAD Emiratisation programmes demonstrate our focus and commitment towards empowering UAE nationals and this has made NBAD the employer of choice for UAE nationals.” Mr. Hassan added.
NBAD increased its total workforce by more than three (3) fold from 2000 to 2010, while Emiratisation jumped by more than eight (8) fold during the same period; in 2000, UAE nationals comprised 149, or 17%, of the NBAD workforce. In 2010, UAE nationals comprised 1237, or 39% of the total.
The last few years witnessed a remarkable rise in the Bank's UAE national work force as Emiratisation jumped from 30% in 2008 to 36% by end of 2009 and to 39% by end of 2010.
The Bank plans to hire 224 UAE Nationals in 2011 to raise Emiratisation rate to 40% by end of this year.
“NBAD data shows that our Emiratization strategy and programmes are certainly bearing fruit,” Mr. Hassan says. “NBAD’s strategy goes beyond attracting UAE nationals, we have developed programmes to allow nationals to best their skills and advance their career in the financial industry within NBAD.”
In recognition of its achievements, NBAD has won a number of awards and recognitions for its Emiratisation programmes and record. Michael H. Tomalin, the Group Chief Executive of NBAD, won the Best Emiratisation CEO award in Banking Sector from Emirates Institute for Banking and Financial studies in 2009. NBAD won the Human Resources Development Award in Banking Sector for 2008 for its successful Emiratisation programmes.
“I congratulate today’s graduates whose hard work and dedication has paid off. The skills you have gained give you an extra boost in the banking industry and we are most happy to have you in the NBAD family,” Mr. Hassan said.