Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA), one of the largest industrial companies in the United Arab Emirates, said that women constituted 20% of its trainee workforce in the first year of launching a long-standing technical training programmes aimed at females.

EGA’s training programmes prepare high school-leavers for technical roles. More than 5,000 men have graduated from these programmes since they were first established in 1982. The first women joined the programmes in November 2022.

EGA roped in 75 national trainees for its technical programmes during 2023.

The programmes last between six months and three years, and provide theoretical and on-the-job training to work in EGA’s smelters, power plants, desalination plants or maintenance.

Abdulnasser Bin Kalban, Chief Executive Officer of Emirates Global Aluminium, said: “As a UAE industrial champion, we recognise our role in developing strong local talent, with particular focus on women, to achieve our bold aspiration to be the industrial employer of choice by 2030.

“We will continue to prioritise both Emiratisation and gender diversity as we secure the people, we need to grow our business with, and contribute to our nation’s sustainable economic development for decades to come.”

EGA hired around 120 UAE nationals in 2023 in total, including 37 women. Over 95% of EGA’s 2023 UAE national recruits were under the age of 35.

While EGA recruits mid-career experts, the company focuses on hiring and training young people who are starting their careers to secure talent for the future.

At the end of 2023, EGA’s in-focus Emiratisation rate was 42.6%. On a like-for-like basis, EGA has one of the highest Emiratisation rates among major company.

EGA now aims to accelerate in-focus Emiratisation, which is targeting a ‘UAE national’ number that rises in proportion to the in-focus workforce by 2% every year to reach 48% by 2026. This means EGA expects to hire up to 500 UAE nationals over the next three years, including replacements for staff turnover and company growth.

EGA also recruited 30 graduate trainees in 2023, including a majority of 17 women amongst the cohort. Graduate trainees complete 18 or 24 months of training for supervisory positions in corporate functions or in industrial operations.

Over 1,200 UAE nationals work at EGA and over 700 of EGA’s Emirati employees are under the age of 35 years.

It works in cooperation with the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, Department of Government Enablement and Dubai Government Human Resources Department, in the recruitment of young UAE nationals for some of the company’s national training programmes.

EGA employs over 470 women in the UAE in total, including more than 160 in operations. It aims to increase the proportion of supervisory positions in the UAE held by women to 25% by 2025 and is targeting 15% of all roles at EGA being held by women by 2026.

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