UAE students welcome work permits, but what about employers?
Dubai - Are employers willing to hire students? Here is what they had to say
On July 13, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation issued a decree granting students the opportunity to train and work in the private sector.
The move was welcomed by students, but what about employers?
According to the ministry's stipulations, companies should not assign students to work more than six hours a day, or more than four consecutive hours of duty in one shift.
But are these rules putting employers off? The views are mixed.
Omar Kassim, CEO of online shop, JadoPado, said it is a fantastic idea.
"Some roles are naturally suited towards part time or seasonal work. It adds more flexibility to the work force and provides entities with more choice in the talent pool."
|Benefits of student employees> Bring innovative ideas, new perspectives|
> Masters of continuous learning
> Good technical and life skills
> Up-to-date with the latest technologies
> Figures from Bayt.com (September 2016)
> A recent survey done by Bayt.com has shown that the job market in the UAE will be picking up in the next three and 12 months.
> UAE companies hiring in the next three months are looking to fill entry-level (35 per cent) and mid-career (13 per cent) positions.
Regarding the working hours, Kassim said it promotes a good balance between "work and study". However, he said it may reflect on pay.
But more than just support the idea, Kassim already has students on board at JadoPado.
"I think it's a great time to get talent early into your organisation while providing students with a real world context for their chosen field of study."
Although Khaled S. Fathi, Managing Director of human resources consultancy, Inspativity, supports the idea, he said not all companies would be so keen.
"Most companies would be reluctant to assign real responsibilities to students. Also, part-time employment needs to be through a contract which needs to have certain benefits associated."
As such, it is relatively easier to hire a full-time employee with proper documentation, than a part-time with none, he said.
But when asked if he would employ a university student, there was no hesitation.
"Absolutely. University students are eager to prove themselves, so they are much more self-driven to accumulate experience and deliver efficiently than to cash a cheque."
He also said student work permits are a "great step towards regulating the employment market" here.
"Imagine the UAE's population at roughly two million. If 10 per cent of that number is students between the ages of 18-22, that's an additional 200,000 employees who can fill a gap and drive more results for the economy."
For Suhail Masri, VP Employer Solutions at Bayt.com, the decision to employ a student isn't one you would likely make if you are eyeing short-term profits.
"Employers can find it a more time-intensive effort to bring young talents up to speed, as opposed to someone who knows the role."
But when this activity is viewed as an investment, it can pay dividends for years.
"Students (and fresh graduates) are a great addition to any company. Not only are they excited and motivated, they are also up-to-date on the latest trends and technologies."
And they're an affordable option, too.
"One of the main advantages of hiring students on a part-time basis is that hiring them is less expensive than hiring more experienced professionals," Masri said.
What the law says
According to the ministry's stipulations, companies should not assign students to work more than six hours a day, or more than four consecutive hours of duty in one shift