According to UN estimates, the UAE hosts the sixth largest population of migrants in the world, due to a high reliance of the country’s labor force on migrant workers. In the UAE, migrant workers mainly originate from India, Bangladesh and Pakistan, and typically contribute to low-skilled or semi-skilled areas of the economy, such as the construction sector. Construction firms in the UAE primarily recruit labor from these countries and during the recruitment drive go to the labour sending country and interview and select qualified workers.
In early 2015, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) collaborated with other labour sending countries to institute a novel feature to this recruitment process.
On a pilot bases, workers were given training in their home countries in the skills needed by the firms in the UAE as a means to investigate whether the acquisition of new skills by low-skilled migrant workers through an accredited training program has an impact on various outcomes of migrant workers in the UAE. More specifically, the study attempts to determine whether certified workers (those who have been provided with skills through a training program) are more productive and perform better than their uncertified counterparts. Additional questions asked in this pilot project include issues around the impacts of migration on following: wages, subjective well-being or probability of remaining longer in the country.
The program aims to ensure that migrant workers can advance in their careers and benefit from their decision to migrate.
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