Retail training programmes and employment support services in Egypt
People1st International worked in partnership with Majid Al Futtaim Group, Education for Employment Egypt and HELM, supported by European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) of the Swiss Confederation to establish the Almaza Recruitment and Training Centre (ARTC) at City Centre Almaza, Egypt.
The objective of ARTC was to deliver training programmes and employment support services in line with the City Centre Almaza tenant retailers’ needs.
The ARTC’s programmes were set to target young jobseekers living in the local area; people with disabilities seeking access to employment and skills; and the incumbent staff of the tenant retailers (in terms of relevant up-skilling).
In addition, the ARTC would provide job-brokering services for successful graduates, creating an efficient process for connecting them with the Centre’s job vacancies.
This project represented an opportunity to open up economic opportunities to under-served social groups, through access to jobs and skills.
EBRD had agreed to support the construction of City Centre Almaza – a large-scale retail and entertainment centre in Heliopolis, Cairo. Through EBRD’s financing the site operator, Majid Al Futtaim Group wanted to establish an on-site recruitment and training centre to support the skills needs of its tenant retailers.
As lead consultant we worked in partnership with Majid Al Futtaim Group (MAF) along with representatives from Education for Employment Egypt and HELM to:
- Highlight the core findings of the principal training needs of the Centre’s tenants including skills profiles and occupational which the new training facility addresses: The research gathered detailed evidence on the employment challenges of local jobseekers, including both young people and people with disabilities, in order to establish their skills related aspirations and expectations in relation to the new training facility. The research also identified relevant avenues for accreditation of learning outcomes under the programmes to be delivered via the new training facility.
- Provide detailed guidance on the new centre’s physical requirements including all furniture and equipment needs and specifications: This included interior design and separator requirements; entrances, exits and evacuation requirements; lighting, plumbing and other interior design requirements; and requirements for accessibility for users of the Centre who may have mobility constraints and other types of physical and sensory disabilities, along with marketing and branding development and support.
- Develop training programmes in Employment 1st, Retail Works, Coaching, Café Culture / Casual Dining, Ambassadors Customer Service, Essential Management Skills and Selling and Service and delivered training to local trainers equipping them with the skills to train through the ARTC centre.
- Launch ARTC: We secured high-level representation from relevant stakeholders including MAF senior management, the Centre’s leading tenants and resident retailers, EBRD and the lead international donor in this work – the Government of Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). We also supported MAF in securing visibility by contributing to the preparation of dedicated press releases, social media and other publicity materials. Due to the global pandemic a virtual launch was implemented prior to a full physical launch of the centre once safe to do so in February 2022.
Alongside operationalising the ARTC and establishing the grounds for its sustainable functioning into the future, other positive outcomes and wider benefits include:
- Timely provision of market-relevant skills for tenant retailers within City Centre Almaza
- Broadened access to employment and skills for young people and people with disabilities in the local area, enhancing their economic opportunities
- Tailored guidance and information provided to ARTC’s tenant retailers around employing workers with disabilities has boosted their capacity and helped stimulate adoption of best practices around disability inclusion.
Read more about this case study here.
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