The final selection process is underway for the Expo 2020 Dubai Apprenticeship Programme, a pioneering nine-month scheme that will offer valuable hands-on experience, vocational training and skills development to more than 20 young people from across the UAE aged 28 years and below.
Following its launch in April 2016, the programme attracted in excess of 2,700 applications, reflecting the high level of interest in Expo 2020 amongst the nation’s young people.
From these, 150 candidates were invited to assessment days that began last month at the Expo site in Dubai South. Expo 2020 Dubai took an innovative approach to these workshops, using a series of engaging challenges and tasks to evaluate candidates on criteria that included leadership, teamwork and their ability to identify and solve problems under pressure.
Ila Kuntum, an Indonesian engineering student currently completing her Masters of Science at the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, said, “I really enjoyed the fact that the assessment included group-based activities. It showed us how real-life, quick decision scenarios play out, and highlighted our strengths and weaknesses.”
Emirati Marketing graduate, Ayesha Sharaf, and Farshied Jabarkhyl, who have studied in both the UK and UAE, described the day as “very challenging and unlike any other assessment I have ever taken part in. It taught us the importance of being open minded to other people’s opinions and ideas and was a great chance to meet new people.”
Candidates were then scored on their performance and around 50 were invited to attend a further round of one-to-one interviews with senior members of the Expo 2020 team, including the heads of the 19 departments offering work placements.
Commenting on the programme, Manal AlBayat, Vice-President of Engagement, Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “The Apprenticeship Programme is an important part of our commitment to engage and empower young people through our journey leading up to Expo 2020 Dubai. We were heartened to see such a high demand from a diverse group of applicants and particularly impressed by the high quality of applications received.”
“The feedback from candidates that have taken part at the various stages of this process demonstrates the value of this experience. Those that are selected for the programme will develop useful competencies for their future career development, and will be important contributors to Expo 2020 Dubai’s educational and economic legacy. We are all looking forward to welcoming the first cohort later this year.”
The Apprenticeship Programme is aligned with the UAE Government’s Youth Empowerment Strategy. It also reflects Expo 2020 Dubai’s theme, “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”, and addresses one of the Expo’s subthemes, “Opportunity”, by providing practical opportunities for young people to develop a skillset that positions them for future employment across a range of industries.
Successful candidates will be informed in mid-July with the programme commencing at the end of August.