ABU DHABI: Etihad Aviation Group and the Emirati Talent Competitiveness Council (ETCC) have expanded their collaboration to offer diverse training opportunities within Etihad Airways for Emiratis aspiring to join the aviation industry.

The agreement was signed by Mohamed Ali Al Shorafa Al Hammadi, Chairman of Etihad Airways, and Ghannam Buti Al Mazrouei, Secretary-General of the Emirati Talent Competitiveness Council.

This initiative is integral to an expanded collaboration with the Emirati Talent Competitiveness Council. In October 2022, Etihad rolled out the "Bedayati" programme and welcomed new graduates to a training programme lasting up to a year to guide them in taking their initial strides towards a promising career.

The programme offers hands-on and comprehensive work experience under the guidance of experts across diverse aviation fields. Since October 2022, 13 Emirati graduates have undergone training in various departments at Etihad Airways, with job opportunities extended to several candidates.

Al Hammadi said, "Expanding our partnership with the Emirati Talent Competitiveness Council underscores our dedication to empowering Emirati youth and contributing to the nation's economic goals. This commitment aligns seamlessly with the vision of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi to strengthen the aviation sector."

He added, "Through this initiative, we will provide training opportunities for Emirati youth, enabling them to achieve high levels of expertise in the aviation industry. We are committed to providing an effective learning environment and distinctive development opportunities that contribute to building a promising future for Emirati talents in this vital sector."

The new agreement aims to enhance collaboration between the two entities, offering specialised training prospects for Emiratis associated with the "NAFIS" programme at Etihad Airways. This will concentrate on training UAE nationals and enhancing their expertise in specialised domains, leading to professional and technical certifications.

Etihad will deliver hands-on training, operational workshops, and skill development sessions, allowing participants to obtain professional certificates in the aviation sector annually.

Al Mazrouei stated, "Under the guidance of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister, Chairman of the Presidential Court and ETCC's Chairman, the Council aims to create more training opportunities in various private sectors. As a key economic player, the aviation sector requires specialised training and the development of professional skills to enable UAE nationals to fill specialised jobs."

He added that the MoU will empower Emirati professionals in the aviation sector, solidify the existing partnership and underscore a joint commitment to creating additional opportunities for empowerment, skill refinement, and enhancing Emirati talent competencies within this pivotal sector.