GEMS For Life’s Student Employability programme celebrates 7,500th pupil to benefit from initiative

15 February 2023
Al Ansari, Chalhoub, KPMG and DP World Golf Tour among partner firms
  • Al Ansari, Chalhoub, KPMG and DP World Golf Tour among partner firms
  • 24 schools across GEMS network have participated in programme to date
  • Initiative wins endorsement from sector and other leading training schemes

GEMS Education’s Employability programme under its flagship GEMS For Life initiative has offered some 7,500 students their first taste of the world of work over the past 12 months.

Pupils from 24 schools in the GEMS network have participated in physical and virtual project-based and employability courses in the past year. Students have been inspired by speakers from industry in their schools, attended virtual careers talks and been on tours of different workplaces, with opportunities growing week by week under the leadership of GEMS’ Director of Student Employment, Matthew Tompkins.

Employment experience is one of three key pillars under the GEMS For Life programme, which offers GEMS students and families support throughout their school careers and later lives. The initiative also delivers exclusive benefits that prepare and sustain students through partnerships with more than 180 universities around the world and the GEMS alumni network that now numbers more than 20,000 subscribers globally.

GEMS For Life was launched in late 2021 and has been hailed by education experts and regulators alike as a ground-breaking and unique programme that offers priceless preparation for young people heading for the fast-changing and challenging world that awaits them.

Opportunities have ranged across the financial, business consultancy, luxury retail, medical, entrepreneurship and leisure sectors, with 35 world-class corporate partners including Morgan Stanley, Investec, Microsoft, Al Ansari, Chalhoub Group, KPMG, Saudi German Hospital, Hourani Law, and the DP World Tour (golf).

Additionally, the programme has been augmented by 13 accredited training delivery partners. Overseas opportunities, including in the United Kingdom and Switzerland, have also been explored with partners.

Essa Al Mulla, Chief of National Work Force Development at the Emirates National Development Programme, said: “The United Arab Emirates has been working from day one towards building people and developing their capabilities and knowledge. From this standpoint, we are working with our partners to develop distinct training and educational programmes that serve students in different stages of education, especially from the age of 15 and above, to suit their hobbies and career interests in the future.”

Matthew Tompkins said: “Every parent wants to ensure their child has the skills and opportunities to succeed in life and be happy. The GEMS For Life programme does just that for GEMS students and their families. While at school, the programme provides pupils an opportunity to develop employability skills and be inspired by the world of work.

“As they transition to university, the programme offers over AED 300m worth of scholarships, exclusively available for GEMS students, and then as they plot their course through life our Alumni network is there to support at every step of the journey. It is a privilege to work alongside our students, industry partners and universities to provide support of this level to our extended GEMS family.”

Westleigh Wilkinson, Director of iX LaunchPad, said: “Just over a year ago, iX LaunchPad and GEMS started on a journey to bring real-world experience to high school students within the GEMS network of schools. In the past year, we have been blown away by the calibre of the students. We’ve been privileged to have worked with over 24 schools, engaged with almost 3,000 students, across nine micro-internship programmes, and various career fairs and activities both in-person and online.

“Overall, the partnership between iXperience and GEMS Education has been a resounding success, and it is a testament to the outstanding talent and potential of these high school students.”

Avid Alizadeh, a student at GEMS Wellington International School, who attended an internship focusing on digital user experience design, said: “I had so much fun while still learning a lot. This course really helped me recognise my strengths and capacities. It also made my career path clearer for me.”

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