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40% of UAE internships are unpaid

Career platform calls for businesses to offer vital balance of experience and pay to entice top talent

A new report studying internships and entry level careers in the UAE has found that 40% of UAE graduates are taking unpaid positions in order to secure experience and gain new skills.

Dubai: A new report studying internships and entry level careers in the UAE has found that 40 per cent of UAE graduates are taking unpaid positions in order to secure experience and gain new skills.

The ‘State of Internships and Graduate Jobs – UAE 2018’ survey which saw responses from over 1,500 students and graduates was conducted by Oliv (formerly InternsME), a career platform made for the youth, and sheds light on the importance of a ‘foot in the door’ for UAE graduates.

Jean-Michel Gauthier, CEO of Oliv, believes that unpaid internships is a trend that needs bucking if companies want to pursue and hire the highest quality candidates.

He said, “More than 90 per cent of the companies we work with on our platform have some form of payment for interns and this is something we strongly encourage for companies to get the most out of the internship programmes. Creating an effective internship programme takes time and investment from the employer but the payoff is attracting serious and skilled talent.”

Dh4,000
average intership salary in MNCs. The average in SMEs is Dh3,000

Surveying a number of positions and industries for internship salaries, Oliv has produced a guideline to help organisations work out the best pay bracket for the positions they are offering. Each sector and role differ but averages stand at Dh3,000 for SMEs and Dh4,000 for MNCs.

“This is only a guideline and we appreciate it may not always reflect the truest values for rewarding an intern. Of course, salaries for internships vary, based on the level and intensity of a role, whether it is sales-based or tied to a target, and so on.

“Being paid for an internship isn’t the sole purpose of applying for or accepting one but it goes a long way in contributing to a holistic experience of entering the working world and is a fundamental part of the experience.”

Oliv is leading the way by working with UAE-based companies to create compelling programmes to help them find top emerging talent and bridge the gap for jobseekers who are looking to prove themselves in the workplace.

Moreover, having a steady supply of skilled and educated graduates in internship programmes can reduce costs and ultimately save a company money.

“Initial costs associated with visas, medicals and insurance don’t apply to interns, and with a developed and engaging programme you’re ensuring a pipeline of loyal employees for the company,” added Gauthier.

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