His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qassimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, opened the 12th edition of the three-day National Career Exhibition at Expo Centre Sharjah on Wednesday (February 24).

The three-day exhibition, which runs until Friday (February26), is being held under the patronage of His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qassimi.

The inauguration ceremony was attended by Mr Ahmed Mohammed Al Midfa, Chairman of the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SCCI), Mr Saif Mohammed Al Midfa, Director-General of Expo Centre Sharjah, directors of various government departments and trade associations.

“Despite the prevailing tough conditions in the labour market, thousands of competent national graduates have found jobs in the past year. Things have started improving this year and I am sure they can expect better opportunities,” said Mr Ahmed Mohammed Al Midfa.

“For UAE nationals, the National Career Exhibition will continue to serve as the country’s leading platform that is a launch pad for a successful career in the banking and financial sector,” Mr Ahmed Mohammed Al Midfa added.

According to the latest Emirates Nationals Development Programme (ENDP) data, nearly 2,000 nationals found new employment through the ENDP in 2009. The banking sector made the largest contribution to the market with regards to training and employing job-seeking nationals.

The local banking sector recruited 1,043 national employees in 2009, according to recent reports. The total number of nationals in this sector amounted to 12,851 employees by the end of 2009. The figure stood at 3,700 in 2002. This year, more than 100 exhibitors are taking part in the National Career Exhibition, featuring all major local and international financial institutions in the country.

Apart from job opportunities at these organisations, additional activities at the show will include workshops, symposia, counselling and discussion sessions. The presence of HR representatives from respective companies will be another plus point that could help job-seekers obtain full details they require about employers.

“National graduates also see the presence of almost all banking and financial establishments under a single roof at the National Career Exhibition as a rare chance to explore training prospects at these establishments,” said Mr Saif Mohammed Al Midfa.

Most of these organisations have their own internal training programmes aimed at moulding qualified national graduates to take up responsible positions. These programmes also focus on retaining the national talent.

“Besides, this is also an opportunity for companies to spot qualified national youth to meet their Emiratisation requirements and quotas,” Mr Saif Mohammed Al Midfa said.

Major local banks that are participating include Dubai Islamic Bank, Dubai Bank, National Bank of Ras Al Khaimah, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Central Bank of the UAE - Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Emirates Islamic Bank, Commercial Bank International - Dubai, Commercial Bank of Dubai, Bank of Sharjah, Sharjah Islamic Bank, United Arab Bank, Ajman Bank and Invest Bank, among others.

Some of the leading international banks at the show are Standard Chartered Bank - Dubai, HSBC Bank Middle East and Barclays Bank – Dubai and Lloyds TSB Bank.

Apart from banks, other governmental departments from all over UAE are taking part in the show. They include Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, Ministries of Environment and Water, Justice, Health, Public Works and Labour.

Money exchanges, free zones, insurance companies and financial consultants are also participating in the exhibition.

The National Career Exhibition is being organised by Expo Centre Sharjah in association with the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Human Resources Development Committee in the Banking Sector, and Emirates Institute for the Banking and Financial Studies.