2017 partners include Marriott International, MBC, General Electric, Bayt.com and Deloitte
Launch follows successful 2016 edition which resulted in over 11,500 applications and the creation of 100 private-sector internships
UAE, Dubai - 16th February, 2017: INJAZ Al-Arab, the regional office of Junior Achievement Worldwide, today launched the second edition of its highly successful “Expand Your Horizon” (EYH) initiative. Designed to empower youth to take up careers across a broad range of private sector industries, the campaign now in its second year, brings together global and local partners to offer work-readiness and internship opportunities for Arab youth across the Middle East and North African region.
Key partners in 2017 include Marriott International, which re-joins with the aim of boosting the up-take of careers across the hospitality sector and General Electric, with the aim of inspiring youth to pursue technology and innovation in the region, for the region. Deloitte has also joined the coalition of partners to provide vital research on the “Opportunities for Arab Youth Employment in The MENA Region”.
“Deloitte's relationship with INJAZ Al-Arab dates back more than 12 years, and we are looking forward to collaborating on this new initiative. While unemployment amongst youth is one of the most significant internal economic challenges facing the MENA region today, it is also one of the region's biggest opportunities for future development and progress” explains Omar Fahoum, CEO, Deloitte, Middle East.
“The research conducted by Deloitte aimed at identifying employment opportunities for Arab youth. Our research clearly shows that Arab youth in the MENA region still prefer to work in traditional industries rather than in non-traditional and high-growth industries such as the hospitality, technology and media industries” explains Ghassan Turqieh, Consulting partner and Human Capital leader, Deloitte, Middle East.
Commenting on the launch Akef Aqrabawi, INJAZ Al-Arab CEO said: “Expand Your Horizon is a proven program that helps fill a gap in the market for a new generation of job seekers by working in collaboration with private sector partners and our broadcast partner, MBC Group, to showcase the depth and breadth of jobs that are available to young people. We do this by identifying growth sectors through robust research (Deloittle), which then feeds in a youth perception audit which enables us to understand, and then address the barriers and or, misconceptions that stop young people from applying for jobs.”
A key component of Expand Your Horizon is the creation of public service announcement (PSA) which seek to educate and excite young people on the type of private-sector industry jobs available. These are created by MBC Group and then aired across their MENA channels helping to engage millions of individuals. 2017 PSAs will also feature real-life success stories from Ahmed Fawzi, an intern with Marriott International and Zahraa Al-Fardan, who progressed from intern to Lead Risk Management Analyst with General Electric.
Rania Rostom, Chief Innovation Officer for GE in the Middle East, North Africa & Turkey, said of the initiative, “Expand Your Horizon is a visionary program that focuses on supporting the development of the region's greatest asset – its population of young, smart, passionate individuals. They are looking for opportunities to contribute to the region, and grow into the leaders of tomorrow. GE is a committed partner in this quest, as the world's digital industrial company. We are excited to work alongside INJAZ Al-Arab to bolster the evolution of technology and innovation across the MENA region.”
“For the second year in a row, MBC Group is committed to fostering talent and empowering Arab youth with knowledge and opportunities - thus sharpening their skill set and investing more in the region's human capital - our most precious asset,” said Mazen Hayek - Official Spokesperson of MBC Group
'We were very impressed with the overwhelmingly positive response and interest in the hospitality industry through Expand Your Horizon last year, and are proud to continue our partnership with injaz al Arab for a second phase. We are and continue to be focused on attracting, training and retaining Arab talent across our expanded portfolio of properties in the Middle East and North Africa, ' added David Leman - Chief Human Resources Officer for Middle East and Africa, Marriott International.
'Expand Your Horizon' also features an interactive web portal which contains information about internship opportunities across the Middle East and critical information about growth industries and their skill demands. The portal additionally provide practical information about resume writing, applying for internships and other job search skills driven by Bayt.com.
Hatem Hannoun, Business Development Manager at Bayt.com, said: 'At Bayt.com, our mission is to empower people in the Middle East, including Arab youth, with the tools and information they need to lead their lifestyle of choice. In line with this mission, Expand Your Horizon has been an exciting partnership for us. We hope that as many people as possible will benefit from the treasure trove of career information on the portal, written by our team of career experts.'
Akef concluded: “The 2016 edition of Expand Your Horizon resulted in 11,500 internship applications in the first 3 weeks from launch, 90% of which were eligible and within the age range of 16-25. In addition, 78% of applications received were from university graduates looking for real internships that open doors for life-time careers. As a result of these figures our private-sector partners were able to open-up 100 life-change opportunities. We hope that our 2017 initiatives inspires a new generation of youth to pursue careers that they previously may not have thought of.”