Etihad Airways has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Institute of Applied Technology (IAT) at the Dubai Air Show which aims to provide students with opportunities to build successful future careers with the national airline of the United Arab Emirates.
The MOU covers a range of elements, including the development of training schemes, on-the-job training, joint marketing initiatives and the development of academic curriculums. Ultimately, it is hoped that students will develop careers within Etihad, including as cadet pilots or engineers.
The agreement between the Abu Dhabi-based airline and the IAT supports the development of the UAE national workforce by providing students with the skills and knowledge required to pursue a career in aviation engineering technology.
A signing ceremony for the MOU took place at the Dubai Air Show between Dr Abdullatif Al Shamsi, IAT Director General, and Etihad Airways chief executive, James Hogan.
Dr Abdullatif Al Shamsi, IAT Director General of IAT, said: “The Institute of Applied Technology is committed to providing UAE nationals with an innovative, career-based technology education system, ultimately leading to the best career development opportunities for our students.
“Our main aim in signing this agreement is to support the development of the UAE's knowledge-based economy and what better way of achieving this than by formally partnering with Etihad, the national airline of the UAE and World’s Leading Airline.
“IAT’s system of five high schools, a Logistics Academy, Aviation Academy and our Vocational Education Development Centre are uniquely resourced for such a partnership. Through signing this MoU, IAT is pleased to support Etihad’s Emiratisation goals by offering our graduates better access to employment opportunities throughout the airline, including the Cadet Pilot and Engineering programmes.
“The MoU also provides a framework for IAT to ensure our varied curricula constantly aligns with Etihad’s strategic needs, as well as allowing us to extend our expertise in ongoing training for existing Etihad staff.”
Mr Hogan said: “A key objective of our Emiratisation programme is to source high calibre Emiratis to help develop our own business and at the same time play a key role in the nation’s development.
“This exciting new partnership will help us recruit Emirati nationals, equipped with the specialist technological and scientific skills to help realise our ambitious expansion plans. We look forward to recruiting greater numbers of UAE nationals to the airline, particularly our technical and cargo divisions.”
Etihad continues to build its Emiratisation employment schemes which now boast more than 168 participants across cadet pilot, management trainee, technical engineering and contact centre programmes. Among the many aims of the Emiratisation scheme is that 15 per cent of Etihad’s workforce will be Emirati nationals by 2012.
The cadet pilot scheme began in June 2007 and has already taken its eleventh intake of cadets. The programme includes the first-ever Emirati female cadet pilots. Salma Mohammed Al-Baloushi, from Al Ain, and Aisha Hassan Al-Mansouri, from Khorfakkan, who joined the programme with 10 male cadets in October 2007.
The graduate management development programme aims to produce UAE national managers to play key roles in the future development of Etihad.
Etihad welcomed its first class of Emirati trainees in 2007 to its technical engineering programme and has recently taken in its second batch of students. Trainees follow a five-year development programme in the UAE, at the Higher College of Technology in Abu Dhabi.
Once qualified, the engineer trainees will join Etihad’s technical division, based at the airline’s new dedicated aircraft maintenance facility at Abu Dhabi airport.
As well as its own Emiritisation training programmes, Etihad Airways is also working with educational institutions to develop the talent of Emiratis looking for employment in the travel industry.
The airline signed in September 2008 a three-year deal with Zayed University in Abu Dhabi to offer internships, sponsorship opportunities and summer work for graduates and undergraduates of the university.
Etihad Airways was honoured earlier this year by the renowned Abu Dhabi Tawteen Council for its commitment to promoting Emiratisation across the company. Etihad has grown rapidly since its first took to the skies in November 2003. The airline currently has more than 7,500 staff, a workforce projected to grow to 27,000 by 2020.
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