Emirates Steel, the only integrated steel plant in the UAE, announced yesterday that it has developed an internationally accredited three-year apprenticeship program that will develop the skills, knowledge and professionalism of UAE nationals.
“The apprenticeship is designed not only to be part of the Emiratization process but also to improve the capability of Emirates Steel to be the largest and best producer of steel in the Middle East,” said CEO Engineer Saeed Ghumran Al Romaithi. To ensure the success of this program, Emirates Steel has created an apprentice training center within the Emirates Steel plant to provide the practical mechanical and electrical workshop skills training that make this programme unique to Emirates Steel.
“Another important objective behind the apprenticeship program is to recruit more UAE nationals and provide them with career paths in the critical areas of production and engineering through the delivery of this internationally accredited initiative,” Al Romaithi added. Between 2013 and 2017, Emirates Steel is expected to recruit around 300 UAE nationals and provide them with career development opportunities.
The apprenticeship is divided into three phases which will last for about 27 months. Only when the apprentice has proved that they are competent and obtained their ICE (competency) card will they transfer to the steel plant and take up a full time position.
Forty new apprentices have started on the program, which includes periods of off-the-job training, pre-site specialization and on-the-job technical training. The apprentices are being tutored and trained by internationally-certified instructors and trainers.
Mubarak H Al Mansoori, Emirates Steel’s Vice President of Administration Support, confirmed that the new apprenticeship program “will be one of the major tools to upgrade the skills of UAE nationals and increase their production efficiency and that of the overall company. This will also be a path used by Emirates Steel to develop its future leaders in the years to come. We will educate and develop our nationals to fit our own business requirements, not only in the areas of production and engineering, but also in the other critical areas of the business”.
As part of its Emiratization initiatives, Emirates Steel has designed a five-year plan to increase the number of UAE nationals working for the company to 30% by 2017. “The plan is in line with Abu Dhabi’s 2030 vision. We have initiated this plan to support the delivery of industrial expertise and technical know-how to our young nationals as part of our corporate social responsibility and community involvement,” Al Mansoori concluded.