x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Emirati students urged to try private sector

The DuBiotech life sciences park is working with universities and the companies it hosts to set up an internship programme that encourages Emirati students to pursue careers in the private sector.

DUBAI // The DuBiotech life sciences park is working with universities and the companies it hosts to set up an internship programme that encourages Emirati students to pursue careers in the private sector.

The scheme would be open to local and expatriate students, but the emphasis would be on increasing the number of Emiratis working for multinational companies.

Most Emirati science graduates take public sector jobs in government laboratories or hospitals.

"The internship students will be able to go into companies where they can actually practise what they have studied," said Marwan Abdulaziz, DuBiotech's executive director. "The students will spend three to four months here next summer and get hands-on laboratory experience.

"One of the things I'm interested in is changing the perception students nowhave. They like science but feel they can only work in these very specific public sector areas, and they do not know about the private, commercial world and other opportunities."

Mr Abdulaziz has had talks with a number of universities and hopes to be able to sign an agreement with them in the autumn.

"I've spoken to UAE University, University of Sharjah and American University of Sharjah", he said, "and also we are reaching out to the universities at Academic City such as Amity, Manipal and BITS-Pilani.

"They've all shown interest. The companies who are with us have agreed, so it's just about putting the two sides together."

The internship plan was welcomed by Louis Lecoeur, general manager of the DuBiotech branch of international perfumer Firmenich. He said: "This is something we do as a company in general, and it's something we could do here with Emiratis."

csimpson@thenational.ae