DEWA Academy builds Emirati skillsets to compete in global energy market

Saturday 24 October 2015

Dubai - MENA Herald: Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) does not only provide electricity and water services according to the highest levels of quality and efficiency, but it also works, along with other government organisations in Dubai, to make citizens, residents, and visitors happier, depending on a qualified workforce across all levels. DEWA adopts a well-established strategy to develop Emirati talent, based on a clear vision to encourage and promote Emiratisation across all sectors and jobs. To achieve this goal, DEWA has launched various training programmes for Emirati students who wish to complete their studies in energy in the UAE or abroad, to build a local workforce that will take the responsibility of the diverse energy sectors. This is reflected on its strategy of the Emiratisation of senior jobs across DEWA’s departments, and creating job opportunities for Emiratis, based on its role as a socially-responsible government organisation.

DEWA Academy, a secondary school, is one of the pioneering initiatives that invest in young UAE National skills and prepares Emiratis to become competent in these skills according to the best international standards. The Academy focuses on vocational education and onsite training for Emirati students, according to the highest vocational education and training levels, in cooperation with the UK's Business and Technology Education Council (BTEC), a global vocational training organisation.

DEWA is committed to preparing a generation of qualified Emiratis in different areas of DEWA’s work. This directly contributes to the overall development processes adopted by the Government of Dubai. DEWA’s Academy supports DEWA’s strategy to increase the number of Emiratis working in the sector as a whole. The Academy is expected to witness remarkable increases in the number of students in coming years,” said HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA.

“DEWA has a clear vision to increase Emiratisation levels. This supports the vision of Dubai Government and the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai. DEWA has a clear strategy to develop and train National staff to meet its work requirements. Establishing the Academy supports DEWA’s Emiratisation strategy by preparing Emirati youth to fulfil the needs of the different technical departments at DEWA. DEWA’s Academy will take the energy sector in Dubai to the next level of growth, with a generation that is aware of the importance of vocational work, and realises the benefit they provide to their country by joining a scientific programme that will provide them with world-class skills,” said Al Tayer.

“DEWA has an integrated strategy to promote Emiratisation. This is underlined by its allocation of 300 jobs to new graduates in technical and administrative majors. The organisation follow an ambitious plan to increase the percentage of Emiratis who work at DEWA and has already achieved excellent results with UAE Nationals comprising 83.53% of senior management and 44.39% middle management,” added Al Tayer.

Al Tayer pointed out that the vision of DEWA’s Academy is to empower young Emiratis with competencies and skills needed to achieve the UAE Vision 2021 for the UAE to become one of the best countries in the world in knowledge-based economy. DEWA will become one of the organisations that supply the industrial sector with qualified and trained staff. It also supports the Dubai Plan 2021 for Dubai to become a city of happy, creative, and empowered people who are productive and innovative in a variety of fields.

“In 2013, DEWA launched the Academy, in cooperation with BTEC, to prepare young Emiratis in various technical and vocational fields, both academically and practically. This is achieved though leading training programmes covering different areas of specialisation including electricity generation, transmission, and distribution and water desalination,” said Dr. Yousef Al Akraf, Executive Vice President of Business Support and Human Resources at DEWA.

Dr. Al Akraf noted that the Academy’s objective is to create a generation of technicians who would support the Government of Dubai with skilled manpower capable of moving the Emirate’s production and growth forward. This is based on an international and well-developed educational system that enables graduates for jobs at DEWA. The Academy also plays an important role in the development of Emiratis and offers a curriculum that is on a par with the highest international standards. It provides students with the required technical and professional capabilities to compete in the highly-competitive job market in Dubai and the world.

The Academy has now 83 students. The first batch, which includes 23 students, will graduate this academic year 2015–2016. DEWA will employ all the graduates where they will receive all the benefits provided to its staff.

Courses of study at DEWA’s Academy

The Academy’s students get the scientific and technical skills needed to start their careers. They also gain skills such as time management, planning, innovation and team work. The Academy’s curriculum includes three disciplines. These are: electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and equipment maintenance and operation engineering. The Academy offers courses in technical and vocational education in English with the support of existing facilities at DEWA.

DEWA Academy's graduates receive a certificate in technical and business studies equivalent to high school diploma, as well as a diploma from the Business and Technology Education Council, Pearson BTEC, in the UK. The council has over 21 million students from 46 countries, including the UAE, registered for this academic year of 2015-2016.

Students in the first year at the Academy (10th grade) are in preparatory phases to career paths in engineering sciences. In the second and third years (grades 11 and 12), study focuses on the paths of electrical studies, mechanical, operating, and maintenance. In addition to the Ministry of Education’s requirements of the Arabic language and Islamic education, and the Academy’s requirements of the English language and IT, the students study BTEC’s requirements based on standards (PEARSON-BTEC-QCF) in the UK.

By the end of the third year, the Academy’s students fulfil the requirements for the Technical Secondary School Certificate from the Ministry of Education and the third level of BTEC, which is equivalent to the fourth level of the National Qualifications Authority. Graduates are equipped to work at DEWA by focusing on the practical side and organising internal and external field visits for the benefit of students of the Academy.

Jobs within DEWA departments

After completing the third year, DEWA will identify students’ positions within the various departments according to the needs of each department. The students will undergo a training programme for a year under the supervision of a DEWA engineer, in order to get the required practical experience.

Required documents for admission at DEWA Academy

DEWA Academy accepts students who have successfully completed the 9th grade in public education, from 15—17 years at the time of enrolment. Class size ranges between 20 and 24 students. They are divided into two groups during workshops and lab classes.

DEWA Academy management is responsible for coordination of the registration process and notifying the Ministry on the final results of the enrolment. Students have to fill up the registration form and enclose the following documents:

  • A 9th grade certificate, attested by the Ministry of Education
  • An original passport and family book with copies for each
  • A transfer certificate from previous school attested from Ministry of Education
  • Guardian’s consent
  • Students who completed their 9th grade from outside the UAE, should attest their certificates from the concerned authorities (Ministry of Education, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Embassy of the UAE in the country where the certificate was issued)
  • Pass enrolment examination, medical tests and personal interview

New building with distinctive facilities

DEWA is currently constructing a new building for the DEWA Academy in Al Hudaiba area in Dubai. The building has been designed according to the highest international standards. Spread over 14,000 square meters, the five-storey building will have 24 classrooms, offices, training labs, 12 workshops, 6 for electrical engineering, and 6 for mechanical engineering, 8 computer labs, a 300-capacity multi-purpose hall, an auditorium, multi-storey parking that could accommodate up to 340 cars, a cafeteria, and a nursery. The new building is planned to be operational by the next academic year 2016/2017.

Total number of students in the Academy during first 10 years

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Years
23 2014-2013
53 2015-2014
83 2016-2015
90 2016-2017
90 2018-2017
160 2019-2018
230 2020-2019
300 2021-2020
300 2022-2021
300 2023-2022
443 100 100 100 30 30 30 30 23 - - Graduates
Total number of students: 443
DEWA plans to meet an overall target of graduates of 443 students until 2023

Students are satisfied at the Academy

The establishment of DEWA Academy as a National academy has contributed to promoting the concept of Emiratisation and developed a spirit of National loyalty and belonging among citizens. It encourages students to bear the National responsibility by training and employing young talent and academically brilliant students.

Experts and specialists see the establishment of DEWA Academy as a new chapter in the vocational and technical education arena in Dubai. DEWA expects more students from the UAE and other GCC states to study in this academy in the future.

“Emiratisation and a sense of belonging are values that reflect responsibility and pride. I am proud to belong to the DEWA Academy and am eagerly waiting to graduate and join DEWA to be a part of the success story of Dubai and the UAE. The cutting-edge curricula and qualified teachers as well as onsite training help us acquire technical and professional capabilities needed to compete at the workplace in this highly competitive market,” said Mohammad Saif Al Aqroobi Al Suwaidi, a third-year student in Electrical Engineering.

“What makes study at DEWA Academy special, is that we get a lot of practical training at DEWA’s facilities, where we apply the theories and scientific material under the supervision of highly qualified DEWA engineers. I would like to call upon all UAE students who have completed the ninth grade and wish to study engineering, to join the DEWA Academy, and get an international certificate within three years and then join DEWA. On behalf of my colleagues at the Academy, I thank DEWA for this wonderful opportunity, and I look forward to working with them after this academic year,” said Jaber Ahmed Saeed Bin Huwaireb Al Muhairi, a third-year student in Mechanical Engineering.

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