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Etihad Airways Reports Over 130 Per Cent Growth In Number Of Uae National Staff On Overseas Placements

October 17, 2014 Careers No Comments Email Email

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has increased the number of UAE national staff on international work placements by over 130 per cent compared to the end of last year, with 142 Emiratis currently in overseas positions across the airline’s global network.

Etihad Airways - Emirati Workforce Abroad - MAP

Over the next three months, an additional 33 UAE national employees will be deployed by Etihad Airways to Australia, Asia, Europe, the Americas and the Middle East, bringing the total number of Emiratis on international placements to 175 by the end of 2014.

The positions are being filled by graduates from the airline’s award-winning UAE national development programs, together with existing employees and new recruits. Some of the UAE nationals will also be placed on assignments with Etihad Airways’ partner airlines worldwide.

Ray Gammell, Chief People and Performance Officer at Etihad Airways, said: “Emiratisation is a key focus area for Etihad Airways. We are extremely proud to offer a dynamic environment for UAE nationals to develop their careers, with exciting roles available in a wide range of different areas, such as human resources, finance, marketing and airport operations.

“Due to our fast-paced growth around the world, an increasing number of these positions are based outside the UAE and provide a unique opportunity for Emiratis to gain international exposure, broaden their skills and experience, and accelerate their careers upon repatriation.

“These developments are essential for Etihad Airways and support our long-term Emiratisation strategy. UAE nationals are now the number one nationality group at our manager level and we remain on target to significantly increase our Emirati representation year-on-year.”

More than 2,000 UAE nationals recently applied for roles within Etihad Airways, reinforcing the airline’s position as an employer of choice for Emiratis. To attract UAE nationals and achieve its Absher initiative targets, the airline works closely with the Ministry of Presidential Affairs, the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Abu Dhabi Tawteen Council, Higher Colleges of Technology, Zayed University, Abu Dhabi University, and other institutions.

Etihad Airways also operates a two-to-three year Graduate Management Program to develop UAE nationals into future aviation leaders, with participants offered a combination of classroom education and on-the-job training in the UAE and abroad. Earlier this year, the latest group of 217 graduates from the program were recognised at a gala ceremony and welcomed to key roles across the airline, such as pilots, managers, contact centre staff and technical engineers.

Among the Etihad Airways graduate managers on international work placements is Iman Al Alawi, a Graduate Manager based in Sydney. Ms Al Alawi said: “Being part of the commercial team in Australia and working with a multicultural team has been character building. I am confident this will be hugely beneficial for my long-term career and success in the airline industry.

Fatima Al Kharousi, Sydney Airport Manager, said: “I completed the Graduate Management Program in 2009 as Airport Operations Duty Manager and became the first Emirati woman within Etihad Airways to work overseas in airport operations, initially based in London, Manchester and Singapore. I am proud about my continued contributions to the company.”

Raya Al Kaabi, who is based in Tokyo, Japan said: “Etihad Airways’ Graduate Management Program is a great platform to launch the careers of aspiring leaders,” she said. “It has rapidly developed my skills and experience, which I believe would not have been possible in a different job. Also, as an Emirati, I am hopefully transforming into a great asset for our national airline.”

Ahmed Ershood Al Shehhi, who started his airline career as a Graduate Manager, is now Etihad Airways’ General Manager, Seychelles. “I joined the Marketing Communications department in 2010 following my graduation and after completing three years, I was offered a fantastic opportunity to serve the airline as General Manager in Seychelles.  Alongside my current responsibilities, and in conjunction with Etihad Airways’ Emiratisation program, the airline is also sponsoring me to complete my master’s degree from Toulouse Business School in France.”

Ayesha Al Azari, Americas Regional HR Manager, said: “I am delighted to be part of an organisation that promotes personal development by recognising its employees’ achievements and providing attractive career opportunities. I moved to the New York office in 2012 to start up the HR operation for the Americas, and to bring sustainable change, a task that I now look back on with great pride. I hope every Emirati will seize the opportunities that Etihad Airways provides to enrich their skills and knowledge base to better serve the company and the nation.”

Etihad Airways 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.

Last month, the airline also announced plans to establish a dedicated Revenue Accounting Centre of Excellence in Al Ain, which will create job opportunities for more than 1,000 Emiratis over the next three years and create long-term economic value for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The centre will be a global leader in revenue accounting, offering competitively priced services that will bring cost savings and operational efficiencies to airlines, including Etihad Airways.

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