Dubai Campus unveils new internship programme to nurture the next generation of construction talent



The School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society (EGIS) at the Dubai campus has unveiled a new internship programme for new students of MSc Construction Project Management and MSc Commercial Management and Quantity Surveying. This initiative will be available for students joining from September 2020 onwards. 

The internship programme is aimed at helping EGIS students gain hands-on experience of the industry and to increase their employability upon graduation, whilst employers will benefit from gaining fresh perspectives, managing project workload and sourcing new talent. The Dubai campus enjoys extensive links with industry partners, who often seek students and graduates for work placements and employment. The new programme has been designed keeping in mind the mutual benefits of both students and top industry partners, who together play a pivotal role in shaping the future of the construction industry.

Commenting on the new internship programme, Professor Ammar Kaka, Provost and Vice Principal of Heriot-Watt University Dubai said, “All our programmes are tailored to the needs of the construction industry and focus on equipping students with the skills needed to be successful in a competitive marketplace. By implementing a robust internship programme such as this, we help our students build sound technical knowledge through our industry partnerships, in addition to a strong academic foundation. We hope that the students who complete these internships will be well prepared to enter the industry and fill the skills gap brought on by the latest trends and disruptions.”

Upon successful completion of their first (fall 2020) semester, students will then be eligible to apply for the internship programme. The EGIS faculty will play an active role in identifying the most deserving candidates among the applicants who will then be matched with suitable internship roles. The students’ performance in the first semester will be crucial in evaluating the candidacy for these roles. These internships will last for a minimum of four weeks and the duration could potentially be extended upon the discretion of the employer. The faculty will also evaluate the student’s progress during the internship and will also collate feedback post-internship, in order to ensure that the employer and the student are able to meet their goals.

Matthew Smith, the Associate Head of the School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society (EGIS) at Heriot-Watt University Dubai added, “We are glad to leverage our strong industry links that include top-tier, global construction firms and consultants to bring this new initiative to the forefront. What makes this internship programme stand out from the rest is the thorough assessment of the candidates by our faculty members, who then nominate deserving students for the available roles to our industry partners. Our faculty’s involvement will ensure that the employers receive the best talent to fill the gap and at the same time make sure that the students are on top of their goals.”

The internship opportunities will allow EGIS students to focus on a variety of areas such as artificial intelligence and sustainability, which are the key emerging themes governing the future of the construction industry. The internship programme will officially kick off from January 2021 and will be running on a rolling basis.

According to Modor Intelligence, the UAE construction market is expected to register a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.5 percent between 2019 and 2024. With the positive outlook of the construction industry, the Dubai campus had set up the Centre of Excellence in Smart Construction (CESC) last year, which is responsible for undertaking internationally recognised research and industry engagement, and providing a creative environment for collaboration between multidisciplinary research teams, industry and the UAE government to solve challenges facing the construction sector.