Saab offers training for next generation of Emirati defence and security leaders through Tawazun’s SEEDS Program
Saab’s four trainees take us on a tour of their experience in Sweden as engineering apprentices
Four Emirati engineering students were invited by defence and security company Saab, to take a six-month engineering apprenticeship through Tawazun’s Sustain & Enhance Emiratization in Defence and Security (SEEDS) Program at the company’s offices in Sweden.
SEEDS is an initiative led by Tawazun’s Economic Program, where a selection of partnered companies, including Saab, offer value-driven development programs and job placement opportunities to UAE nationals. This program joins the company’s local partnership initiatives to increase Emiratization rates across multiple departments.
Saab’s participation in SEEDS enables a select number of trainees to work alongside global experts and receive hands-on experience at the company’s facilities ahead of potentially receiving full-time job offers in the UAE.
We spoke to our four trainees, Fatima AlBlooshi, Yusra AlHashmi, Fatema AlNuaimi and Abdulla AlRayes, as they took us on a tour of what they had learned at Saab in the past six months.
What interested you in joining the team?
Stepping out of university is a daunting stage for any graduate, with pressure mounting to map out a perfect career plan.
The SEEDS program alleviates this difficulty by not only offering the opportunity for young Emiratis to break into the industry but also to make discoveries for themselves as they step out of the UAE and experience different work environments.
Fatema AlNuaimi: It was a solid opportunity to show that I can be independent and have experiences of my own. It has been a great learning experience that gave us the opportunity to be taught things from different perspectives. I hope that it encourages more people to travel and make discoveries for themselves.
Abdulla AlRayes: Saab offered the experience and opportunity to thrive in a different environment with exposure to numerous fields.
Did you face any challenges during the experience?
It’s not easy to enter the field with no prior experience or knowledge of the processes. The group of trainees faced several roadblocks in their six months in Sweden: new technical jargon, new coding platforms, and working with advanced aircraft systems.
Fatema AlNuaimi: While working on projects we did face technical challenges, but they were good challenges as they pushed us to do our best and introduced us to new concepts.
Abdulla AlRayes: Saab has given us opportunities that we may not have access to in the UAE. They value precision and keep everything filed and ordered so it was a challenging feat that needed to be ingrained gradually over the course of six months.
What did you learn from your time at Saab?
Saab ensures that its trainees receive a well-rounded, 3600 experience during the program to receive full exposure to the engineering world of security and defence. It is crucial to provide a personalized program tailored to fit a student’s field of expertise and interest. As such, it eases the learning process and promises positive outcomes.
When you face a problem. Instead of trying to solve it, take a step back and observe it through wider lens. Ask for help when you need it, don’t let it sit and boil over.
This was achieved at Saab through weekly meetings with mentors based in Abu Dhabi and Sweden to align on all activities in the pipeline.
Abdulla AlRayes: People work together as equals and are appreciative of your hard work. When you are a trainee, they don’t push you to do better just for good results but for your own career progress.
Fatima AlBlooshi: When you face a problem. Instead of trying to solve it, take a step back and observe it through wider lens. Ask for help when you need it, don’t let it sit and boil over.
What did you learn from the SEEDS program?
One of many elements in a healthy and successful work experience is fostering growth, which can be mastered by seeking out information and remaining curious.
As we talked with the four apprentice engineers, we were keen to understand what their key advice was and what they got out of joining this six-month program. The answer was unanimous: ask more questions.
All: Be patient because no matter how long it takes to finish a task, you must always proceed with caution to avoid rushing and making mistakes. I don’t need to hurry into things but should rather observe and absorb as much knowledge and information as possible.
In alignment with Abu Dhabi’s Economic Vision 2030, Saab continues to contribute to both the development of local talent and the long-term growth of the UAE’s defence industry ecosystem.
To support the initiative, the four trainees were given two projects to complete as a team in the last two weeks of their training program, to present to the Saab team. The first project focused on Saab’s talent attraction strategy for UAE nationals, while the second project was shot as a video about the team’s time in Sweden and at Saab, with the goal of attracting and retaining a greater number of Emiratis to Saab.
As of July 2022, Fatima, Fatema, Abdulla, and Yusra are back in Abu Dhabi, where they have taken the next career step as employees at Saab in UAE