The Permanent Committee for Labour Affairs in the Emirate of Dubai convened a workshop to discuss the importance of the implementation of the “Workforce Training Institute” in Dubai. The workshop was held to introduce the concept and importance of the training institute, as well asto discuss adopting the best possible approaches to create awareness and to educate labor migrants (foreign workers) on their rights and duties in the country, in line with the consistent efforts of the United Arab Emirates to implement the best practices across all areas and industries. This includes, a commitment toinform workers on their rights and duties in the country, as well as to educate them on the culture of the UAE which would in turnassist them in confronting difficulties or struggles that they made face throughout their employment period in the country.
The Workshop was chaired and inauguratedby HE Major General Obaid Muhair Bin Suroor, Deputy General Director of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs, and Chairman of the Permanent Committee for Labour Affairs, who addressed the participants in the opening ceremony with a welcome speech advocating the path of educational awareness sessions provided to foreign workers from the moment of their arrival to the country due to the UAE’s distinctive nature, and diverse social and cultural qualities.
HE has also indicated that the purpose of the project is to educate foreign workers on their rights and duties, in addition to raising awareness on the cultural norms of the UAE, and informing them of the occupational health and safety standards at the workplace. Thisgenerates an overall understanding within the community, simplifies the working environment, and creates an opportunity for peaceful coexistence and harmony in society in accordance with international standards of education and awareness raising initiatives.
In turn, Dr. Ahmed Al Hashemi, Consultant of the Permanent Committee for Labour Affairs, and Director of the Middle East Centre for Training and Development, has stated the importance of connecting all members of society through strong and civilized common ties, leading to active participation of all members of the community based on a common understanding of the surroundings in which they live. He also notedthe significanceof building the capacity of individuals through awareness raising and supplying them with the knowledge they need in order to function as healthy and active individuals with full knowledge of their rights and duties in society. He mentioned that keeping these concepts in mind, the Permanent Committee for Labour Affairs, in collaboration with the Middle East Centre for Training and Development have together created an in-depth academic and field study, as a fundamental approach and the key to ensure the successful implementation of the Workforce Training Institute project in Dubai.
This has clearly been reflected through the statistics that have been obtained froma survey based on a sample of 1000 foreign workers in the construction field, which proved that following their completion of awareness training sessions, 74% of them noted an improvement in their knowledge of the UAE cultural values. With regard to the workers’ knowledge of their rights, and duties in accordance with the UAE Labour Law, as much as 71% of the workers have expressed dramatic improvements in the level of knowledge in relation to these rights and responsibilities following their exposure to the training sessions. In addition to these results, 86% of the total workers surveyed revealed that the sessions also helped shape their understanding of the governmental procedures set out to resolve disputes faced with their employers, as well as procedures of getting in touch with legal channels of assistance and government helplines available to them in the Emirate.
He also stressed the importance of awareness as the ideal approach to beginning a healthy new journey in the United Arab Emirates.It is also part of a worker’s social responsibility that would aid them in confronting issues faced at the workplace, possibly stemming from a lack of knowledge of rights and duties, as well as being exposed to, or resorting to misinformation obtained from others at the workplace or within the community which may lead to further troubles for the worker should they break the laws of the country.
Col. Abdul Muneim Al Medawi, General Coordinator of the Permanent Committee of Labour Affairs in the Emirate of Dubai, described the importance of the workshop held, as well as the significance of holding similar future workshops in line with the extensive efforts of the United Arab Emirates to achieve a favorable and balanced environment which suits the diverse needs and composition of such a unique multi-cultural society. Through the active participation of various actors by sharing their fruitful experiences in protecting foreign workers according to international standards, which the UAE is committed to implement across all of its institutions, principles, and frameworks thereby achieving its future vision 2021.