Press Release

April 01, 2014

New Emirates Foundation and Gulf Capital Portal links youth with Internship Opportunities in the Private Sector

A new portal linking young Emiratis with private sector internship opportunities was launched at the Emirates Foundation first Business Club ‘Social Investment Forum’ 2014 in Abu Dhabi today.

The portal, a partnership between the Emirates Foundation and Gulf Capital, will assist Emirati youth findthe right training programmes in most appropriate companies to hasten their professional and personal development and contribute to the growth of private business in the UAE.

“In this complex world in which we live, internships play a critical role,” Clare Woodcraft, the CEO of Emirates Foundation for Youth Development noted during her address at the Business Club forum in the presence of Emirates Foundation Managing Director, H.E. Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan and an elite group of regional and international philanthropic representatives and executives from the private and public sectors.

“Internships can help youth understand where their passion lies and what kind of career they want, “Woodcraft said, noting “In this highly connected world of fast decision-making, young people don’t have the luxury of pondering their career path for years on end. Internships are important in helping young people explore, early on, various options to help them choose the path that’s right for them.”

Speaking about her personal experience, Woodcraft said during or shortly after their studies young people often find that they have studied the “wrong subject”.

“In many cases this is due to a lack of advice and work experience. Career counseling is of course useful, but nothing is more powerful than on-the-job learning inside a real business,” she said.

Dr Karim El Solh, Chief Executive officer of Gulf Capital, said: “The Emirates Foundation-Gulf Capital Internship Portal is a community that connects young Emiratis contemplating a career in the private sector with companies in the UAE seeking to attract Emirati talent. Gulf Capital has been able to overcome the challenges that currently exist for attracting young Emiratis to the private sector through its successful on-the-job training programme. Exposing the UAE youth to a whole new world in the private sector and empowering them to become achievers and competitive in the private sector proved to be appealing to many of our interns who have now become successful colleagues at Gulf Capital. We wanted to create an online portal where Emirati talent and the business community would connect and internship opportunities posted. We are delighted to be launching this Internship Portal with Emirates Foundation as our partner.”

Khulood Al Nuwais, the Chief Sustainability Officer at Emirates Foundation called upon the private sector to treat top Emirati talent not as a cost but as an investment that with the right support and guidance can blossom into loyal ambassadors for their organisation.

Speakers at the forum’s session, entitled “Internship: Opportunities and Challenges, held at Etihad Jumeira Tower,include Dr Karim El Solh, Gulf Capital CEO; Joe Howard Occidental, Petroleum Corp Human Resources Manager, and MaysaJalbout, Brookings Institute, Center for Universal Education fellow.

The debate was moderated by Clare Woodcraft, Emirates Foundation CEO.

Forum discussions focused in the role internships played in empowering Emirati youth and orienting them on available in-the-job training opportunities in the private sector.

Dr Karim El Solhdescribed the joint portal launched by Gulf Capital and the Emirates Foundation as a pioneering project.

“Finding creative solutions to this issue can help increase the number of trainee opportunities available while responding to the needs of business companies by supplying them with the talents necessary to maintaining their success,” Dr El Solh added.

The Emirates Foundation Business Breakfast for Social investment is a quarterly event that unites representatives from various organisations, to discuss ways and means for supporting the young generation in the UAE. Each event focuses on a different issue related to the challenges facing the youth, with engaging discussion sessions that are aimed at addressing arising topics of relevance to the youth and means of involving the private sector and experts in finding solution for them.