DUBAI // Teenagers and recruiting experts have welcomed a decree allowing young people to take on work experience in the private sector.
The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation will now allow youths aged between 12 and 18 to apply for temporary work permits, to give them a taste of life beyond school.
Workplace experts have said that the lack of practical experience could lead to youths missing out on jobs. The decree has also been welcomed by the private sector and complements a law that has provisions for those aged 15 to 18.
“It’s very important to connect high-quality education to the workplace and it’s a challenge for employers and students, particularly in the UAE,” said David Jones, chief executive of human resources consultancy The Talent Enterprise.
“Young people here have a good education but in the past, apart from a few work placements, they have not had an opportunity to experience the world of work.
“In the rest of the world young people get the chance to work in coffee shops, deliver pizza or do administrative work in an office.
“This might not be related directly to their education but work environments have their own culture and these types of jobs can provide an understanding of what the workforce is like.”
Teenagers, who will have to have written permission from their parents to take part, have praised the edict.
“Going to the US and seeing my friends working there, I always thought it would be great to have the same opportunities,” said Joyce Voluntad, 15, a Canadian International School pupil.
She said gaining work experience would add polish to her university applications and help to build her character.
“It would make me a more responsible and independent person,” Joyce said.
“It would be nice to be able to get money from another source other than your family.”
The Grade 10 pupil is spending the whole summer in Abu Dhabi and said a part-time job would have been the perfect way to keep busy.
“It would give you something to do, rather than just hanging around, and it would be cool to be able to say I have a job,” Joyce said.
Karan Paranganat, 19, said he would have jumped at the chance to work during his high school years in Abu Dhabi.
“A lot of my school work was academic and we didn’t get a lot of hands-on experience,” said the recent Cambridge High School graduate.
“I wish this law had been around when I was a student and I don’t see any drawbacks.”
UAE graduates and young people are at a disadvantage compared with international youths, Mr Jones said.
“We found that, in most cases, the first exposure graduates get of the world of work is often on the first day they start a job,” he said.
Allowing young people to have work experience sooner helps them to build confidence and competence, and develop essential communications skills, he said.
Now Emiratis and expat youths with work permits can be hired to work on projects for up to six months. There are also work permits for those who wish to work fewer hours over a year.
Existing juvenile work permits allow employers to take on Emiratis or expats aged 15 to 18 for one year’s work. Work permits cost Dh500.
Youths should not work more than six hours a day and must be given one or more hours for rest breaks to eat or pray. They should also not work four consecutive hours a day, the ministry said. Work permit applications can be requested from the ministry’s Tas’heel service centres or through its smartphone applications.
Source: uae news