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New survey reveals 40% of UAE internships are unpaid
Source: Total Communications , Author: Posted by BI-ME staff
Posted: Wed May 23, 2018 3:39 pm

UAE.  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.

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 a 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% 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.”

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 AED3,000 for SMEs and AED4,000 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 job-seekers 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.

“Even when you look at the long-run, training skilled workers from the ground up can have a massive pay off when it comes to filling senior positions. The supply chain within the organisation reduces acquisition cost by a considerable amount.”

Facilitating more than 1,000 interviews every month, Oliv has worked with over 1,000 organisations from across the world including Emaar, Samsung, Careem, Sephora, Bosch, Coca-Cola, ICBC and DMCC.

Oliv provides employers with an innovative alternative to expensive recruitment agencies and oversaturated job boards by offering a community of candidates who have been individually screened for their skills, abilities, demographics, proficiencies and personalities.

Photo Captions:
1. (above)  New survey conducted by Oliv revealed 40% of internships in the UAE were unpaid
2. (inset)    For illustration purpose only (File photo)

 About Oliv
Oliv (formerly InternsME) is a career platform made for the youth. Connecting talented students and new graduates to leading employers for internships, part-time and graduate jobs. With youth unemployment rates in MENA being almost twice the global average — Oliv is solving this problem through technology and empowering communities. Designed to make launching careers simple, personal and more rewarding.

Oliv is home to thousands of students and graduates, where their ambitions and personalities are being aligned to relevant careers. Today more than 1,000 businesses from startups to global titans use Oliv to hire top emerging talent to grow their business, maintain a healthy talent pipeline and reduce turnover.

For more information, visit and for specific press information, visit



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