DUBAI, 3rd May, 2017 (WAM) -- The fifth edition of the Industry and University Partnership Forum, I-UP Forum, hosted by Dubai International Academic City, DIAC, and Dubai Knowledge Park, DKP, gathered leading educators, industry experts and key stakeholders in Dubai to discuss the impact of the new part-time student work regulation issued by Dubai Creative Clusters Authority, DCCA, including ways to strengthen Dubai’s position as an international education hub for a growing trans-national student sector.
The forum, an education dialogue entitled, "The Part Time Student Work Policy – Supporting home grown talent and equipping our youth with the skills to succeed in the work place", was attended by experts and professionals from universities, industries and government departments, including panellists Mohamed Al Bahri, Chief Officer at Zoning and Commercial Affairs of Dubai Creative Clusters Authority, DCCA, Mohammed Salem, President of University of Wollongong Dubai and Jean Michel Gauthier, CEO of InternsME. Moderated by Sarah Cocker, Managing Director, Pinnacle Media, the panellists spoke at length about the new DCCA regulation, its impact on the employment landscape in the region and the importance of collaboration between government, industry and academia to make this initiative a success. Speaking on the fifth edition of the forum, Mohammad Abdullah, Managing Director of DIAC and DKP, said, "As we embark on a journey of empowerment, we must plan ahead and invest in the right training initiatives to support graduates and develop their skills for the future." Abdullah continued, "Several knowledge hubs in North America and Europe already allow students to work while they study. Not only does this initiative further move Dubai towards becoming a global education powerhouse, it is also proof of the UAE’s commitment to transition into an innovative economy by equipping students with the knowledge and skills needed to develop and succeed." "Continuous and open dialogue with government, industry and education stakeholders through forums such as I-UP is key in helping us understand how to adapt to the ever-changing demands of regional and global markets while ensuring we advance student success," he added. Echoing Mr. Abdullah’s sentiments, Mohamed Salem said, "The I-UP Forum is a unique platform for engagement between industry leaders and universities and provides valuable insights on needs and new trends in knowledge and skills, opportunities for students and the role of universities as enablers for a knowledge economy. This year’s edition of the I-UP Forum is particularly important with the advent of new regulations in Dubai allowing fulltime students to gain valuable industry experience whilst studying." The regulation is a significant milestone that aligns with the UAE’s Vision 2021, which has articulated the setting up of a 'Competitive Knowledge Economy'. The Student Part-time Work Regulation will ensure a volume of qualified and work-ready young professionals by allowing creative talent to gain critical industry experience to complement their fields of study and increase their employment prospects post-graduation. Students are not the only stakeholder group to benefit from this initiative. Businesses licensed by DCCA now have access to a valuable, enthusiastic and creative stream of cost-effective talent. This is especially important for Small and Medium Enterprises, SMEs, which account for approximately 90 percent of private sector employment in the UAE, allowing much needed flexibility to build capacity for short term projects. Utilising a qualified and well-rounded workforce, businesses can now effectively match talent with skills and reduce recruiting unskilled workers from overseas.