Youth chief’s mes­sage to com­pa­nies

7 Days in Dubai - - NEWS - @Shab­namBashiri

Com­pa­nies are being urged to take on univer­sity stu­dents as in­terns to give them a chance of gain­ing ex­pe­ri­ence in the work­place.

Emi­rates Foun­da­tion yes­ter­day hosted its Kafa’at In­tern­ship fair to bridge the gap be­tween ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor and pri­vate sec­tor.

The event was aimed at en­cour­ag­ing Emi­ratis to join the pri­vate sec­tor work­force, al­though ex­pat stu­dents were wel­come also.

The event saw 50 firms – such as Mas­dar In­sti­tute, Nakheel and Emi­rates NBD – on hand to dis­cuss in­tern­ships.

Clare Wood­craft-Scott, CEO of Emi­rates Foun­da­tion, which pro­motes young peo­ple’s wel­fare, told 7DAYS it is hoped firms can help “bridge the gap” be­tween ed­u­ca­tion and the work­place.

She said: “We know that one area of young peo­ple’s pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment re­lates to em­ploy­ment in the pri­vate sec­tor. And we be­lieve there’s a miss­ing piece of the puz­zle here, which is the in­tern­ship.”

Wood­craft-Scott said it is im­per­a­tive that young peo­ple have an un­der­stand­ing of what pri­vate sec­tor jobs en­tail, in­clud­ing the op­por­tu­ni­ties and the cor­po­rate cul­ture.

She added: “It’s very dif­fi­cult for young peo­ple to un­der­stand all that un­less they have an ac­tual ex­pe­ri­ence inside the pri­vate sec­tor.

“But at the same time you don’t nec­es­sar­ily want to push some­one into a full blown longterm em­ploy­ment con­tract if they’re not yet sure. So an in­tern­ship is a very pow­er­ful way of

By Shab­nam Bashiri giv­ing young peo­ple the ex­pe­ri­ence of the pri­vate sec­tor, with­out hav­ing to make a long-term com­mit­ment.

“We then re­duce the risks of them end­ing up in a job or an area they’re not ac­tu­ally pas­sion­ate about. And it would also re­duce the risks of the pri­vate sec­tor hir­ing some­one that doesn’t have the right skills or as­pi­ra­tion.

“So I think more than ever now you need young peo­ple to have ac­cess to men­tor­ing... to help them fig­ure out where their skill set and pas­sion lies.”

Asma Mah­mood, 17, a first-year en­gi­neer­ing stu­dent at UAE Univer­sity in Al Ain, was among those at the event.

She said she would ac­cept an in­tern­ship re­gard­less whether it was paid or not.

She said: “It’s not im­por­tant. I want to gain ex­pe­ri­ence. It’s not about the money that I take from them.

“I want to learn how a job works.” Mah­mood has al­ready com­pleted in­tern­ships at Car­refour and at the po­lice depart­ment in Umm Al Quwain, and walked away from them with im­proved com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills. She now seeks an en­gi­neer­ing in­tern­ship. Mah­mood said: “I don’t know which spe­cial­i­sa­tion to choose, like civil, or chem­i­cal, me­chan­i­cal, or elec­tri­cal.”

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