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Omar Yousuf - Emiratisation Training Manager

What’s the focus of your current role? What is your purpose?

I’m in charge of all training within the learning and development department on one of our largest rail contracts. The focus of my role revolves around providing suitable and adequate training modules to our Emirati staff. These modules range from basic operations control centre knowledge and experience to engineering and maintenance workshops, general station operations and technical visits.

Through City and Guilds, I assess suitable international and third-party vocational qualifications and ensure that UAE nationals across our contracts are upskilled and trained to be ready to undertake these courses, enhancing their qualifications.

Finally, I run a series of voluntary training courses that are available to anyone and are held outside of working hours. These usually run from 5:30PM onwards and provide additional learning opportunities for those who are interested in other aspects of the business.

What do you typically do in a full day’s work?


Upon arriving to work at 8AM, I conduct a quick catch up and engage with my team on a personal level. I then begin checking my emails and review the roster for training classes so that I can prepare any additional material for any upcoming courses.


I set my calendar for the day and run through any pending matters from the previous day. If there aren’t any courses for the day, I usually use this time to read up on current events related to our nation and sometimes research new innovative technologies and learning tools, such as our touchscreen TVs, to create interactive learning sessions.

In the instance we have ad-hoc training classes, then I must review and approve training materials, evaluate lesson plans and ensure they are up-to-date.


Most days, I conduct a class at this time. In true Serco-style, we usually do a ‘safety moment’ at the beginning of the class - to do this, one person highlights a safety tip. It only takes a minute, but is vital to every meeting and class we have at Serco. It helps us to ensure everyone is aware of our safety protocols and measures, it also portrays our inclination to consider safety at the forefront of everything we do.

Once our safety moment is conducted, we move on to the basis of our contract induction. This particular aspect changes based on our audience; if we are conducting classes for Serco staff then we skim through the basics of the contract. In the instance we have stakeholders and 3rd party partners, we need to devote an entire hour to get them up to speed on what we do and how we do it.


Usually we conduct a work progress catch-up meeting internally where we share lessons learned and discuss any issues that hinder our workflow.

If I am available to do so, I use this time of the day to also identify and undertake opportunities for self-development in line with my professional development plan.


Usually this time is also reserved for our emergency services and new joiners from our client’s side. During this time, my focus is on establishing an effective relationship with them to further develop our network pool.

Stakeholder engagement activities with government ministries and other entities are held during this time. I provide induction courses to familiarise the team with our systems. This showcases one of Serco’s key values - Trust. We enable governmental entities to believe in our ability to transfer knowledge and provide the right information to ensure we run a safe public service.


At this time, our main client is getting ready to close for the day, so I usually take the opportunity and check in with them for the next day's plans, initiatives and any stakeholder management. 

This is usually a quick call or a meeting.


A coaching session with my line manager. If we do not have a staff meeting, I use this time to learn from my superiors. We discuss plans and initiatives and run through my projected week and where I want to go with it. 

I focus on communicating with my team to make sure that we’re hitting our learning objectives. This is something we co-plan together and we also create an interactive task for the learners.

5:30pm - 7pm

Run through our VTC classes, ensuring we provide maximum learning opportunity for everyone involved. 

And that’s it for the day!

Why would you recommend Serco to graduate job-seekers?

Serco is a global company with expertise in multiple fields and sectors. Being an Emirati, Serco has provided me the learning tools and guidance from senior executives to develop my career within the business. Serco is a company that also provides various developmental programmes for not only nationals but anyone who is willing to invest time and effort into themselves.

Being in a company that operates in broad sectors means that I have the ability to experience a plethora of fields outside the rail industry, ranging from aviation to healthcare and citizen services.