EFE-Citi program links unemployed Saudi youth to jobs

EFE-Citi program links unemployed Saudi youth to jobs
Young women graduates of the inaugural EFE-Citi Foundation ‘Work Readiness Program’ in Saudi Arabia. (Photo/supplied)
Updated 08 December 2018

EFE-Citi program links unemployed Saudi youth to jobs

EFE-Citi program links unemployed Saudi youth to jobs

The Citi Foundation and Education For Employment (EFE) have partnered together to create job and economic opportunities for 30 unemployed Saudi youths in the first six months of 2018. The partnership aims to support Saudi Vision 2030’s mission of empowering youth with opportunities.

EFE introduced its “Work Readiness Program” to Saudi Arabia for the first time, nurturing and inspiring young Saudi women and men with skills to succeed on the job and in life. About 50 percent of the graduates are young women, reflecting EFE and Citi Foundation’s shared commitment to economic opportunities for women. 

The training program was designed to highlight various aspects of the employment search such as effective communication, emotional intelligence, time management and interpersonal skills to meet employer expectations, and overcome the challenges of adjusting to the work environment. According to a press statement, 100 percent of the program graduates were placed into pre-committed jobs in the private sector.

Zuhair Al-Zahrani, a graduate of the EFE-Citi sponsored program, said: “After EFE’s training I realized how much it changed me and since then I advise my colleagues to never let anything get in the way of improving and building new skills, which will reflect on the way we present ourselves and our companies in the best manner possible.”

Amr Abdallah, director of Gulf Programs at EFE-Global, added: “The skills that Saudi youths acquired in this program are based on the proven model that has enabled the EFE Network to introduce 73,000 unemployed youths to the world of work in nine countries across the Middle East and North Africa. We are proud to partner with the Citi Foundation to have brought this transformative training to Saudi Arabia to help Saudi youth reach their potential and compete in growing sectors such as service.”

“We’re thrilled to see that our partnership with EFE has helped these young Saudi women and men become work-ready and secure jobs that will enable them to contribute to the Kingdom’s economy,” said Carmen Haddad, Citi country officer — Saudi Arabia. 

Increasingly, private sector employers such as Nesma Embroidery and SaudiReadyMix, which hired the inaugural EFE-Citi Foundation program graduates, are turning to EFE for qualified entry-level employees.

Rana Zumai, general manager at Nesma Embroidery and an EFE — Citi Employer partner, said: “We are really grateful cooperating with EFE in their well-established courses, as they’ve delivered several training programs to our employees throughout Saudi Arabia, leaving a great impact in developing their soft skills. With EFE’s initiative, Nesma Embroidery was the first to give a finance course to non-finance operational employees.”

Now entering its fifth year, the Citi-EFE partnership provides training and economic opportunities to unemployed youths in Morocco, Tunisia, and, for the first time, in Saudi Arabia and the UAE. In 2018 alone, the partnership will impact over 400 youth, nearly doubling the impact achieved in the partnership’s first four years.