More than eight in 10 respondents (84.7 per cent) to a survey in the Mena region claimed that they were able to find many internship opportunities using online job sites.
From the companies’ perspective, more than four out of five (86.9 per cent) respondents claimed that their companies “always have interns”, according to the survey “Internships in the Middle East and North Africa” conducted by Bayt.com, a leading job site in the Middle East.
This was followed by a small number (5.4 per cent) who said they do have interns but “not always”, 3.3 per cent said they don’t have interns but are “planning to start”, and only 4.4 per cent said they are “not interested” in having interns.
Nearly eight out of 10 respondents surveyed (78.1 per cent) said that there are “enough internship opportunities available” in the Middle East region. Only 21.9 per cent of respondents disagree with this statement. In fact, more than seven out of ten respondents (73.1 per cent) found an internship in their country of residence “easily” as students, compared 26.9 per cent who felt that it was difficult to find an internship.
Almost all (98.8 per cent) of those surveyed believe companies should work with universities to create more internship programs, compared to just 1.2 per cent who disagreed.
Governments seem to have a big role as well. 97.4 per cent of those surveyed agreed that local governments should encourage and support developing internship programs, compared to just 2.6 per cent that disagreed.
The value of internships
The majority (88.2 per cent) of respondents in the region believe that interns are “very useful” to their businesses.9.2 per cent of respondents believe that interns are “somewhat useful” and only 2.6 per cent said that interns are “not useful”.
Those surveyed said there were several benefits for having an intern. More than seven out of ten respondents (73.6 per cent) stated that internships allow them to identify talent for future positions. Other benefits that were discussed include the ability to “quickly fill temporary and seasonal positions” and “providing extra help for small teams or departments.”
Jobseekers’ views on internships
More than seven out of ten (71.5 per cent) respondents said that, while at university, it was required for them to complete an internship or any type of practical training.
At the same time, respondents understand the value of internships for the intern. 56.2 per cent of respondents said it helps them “gain hands-on work experience”, 4.6 per cent said it helps them “develop new skills and knowledge”, 4.2 per cent said it helps them “explore their field of interest and career potential”, “1.4 per cent said it helps them “network and build professional connections”, and more than a third (33.6 per cent) said it provides all of these benefits.
On top of that, more than three quarters of respondents (76.2 per cent) agree that internships “increase the job candidate’s chances of getting hired.”
When it comes to what makes an internship more attractive, nearly two thirds of respondents (65.2 per cent) said that the “type of company / field of work” was the main factor, 29.4 per cent said that it depends on the “type of projects and job responsibilities”, and 2.6 per cent said that it depends on the “ability to obtain university credit.”
Only, 2.8 per cent said that compensation was the most attractive factor for an internship. In fact, 79.3 per cent of those surveyed said that they are willing to complete an unpaid internship, compared to only 20.7 per cent who disagreed.
“Young talent and fresh graduates looking to secure their first role should take advantage of the many internships, entry level jobs, as well as the job search tools and information available on Bayt.com,” said Suhail Masri, vice president of Employer Solutions, Bayt.com.
“Internships are a great asset for those trying to start and grow in their career and should be a priority when it comes to gaining experience and standing out in the competitive job market. Today, and on any given day, over 10,000 jobs are available on our job site, nearly 5,000 of which are suitable for young job seekers and fresh graduates. We are also launching a new job section of Bayt.com that is fully dedicated for students and fresh graduates to help them get an early start on their career planning and job hunting,” he added.