7th APRIL 2015 - Vol.XXXVIII No.018
Local News

IT project success for 200 Bahrainis

TWO hundred Bahrainis graduated yesterday from a scheme designed to equip them for jobs in the information technology industry. Sixty-three have already found jobs, said Labour Minister Dr Majeed Al Alawi.

He was speaking at a graduation ceremony for the first group from the Career Connections initiative, held yesterday under his patronage at the Bahrain Training Institute (BTI) in Isa Town.

The initiative was launched in March last year by Microsoft in partnership with the ministry, Bahrain Institute of Technology (BIT) and Bahrain Development Bank (BDB).

Its aim is to give unemployed Bahrainis basic computer skills, to open up job opportunities for them.

The job-seekers were selected by the ministry to take part in the programme, which provides them with job opportunities on completing the training. Dr Al Alawi said the ministry had been very active in developing the workforce in Bahrain.

"By partnering with Microsoft and BIT in the Career Connections initiative, we aim to create an IT aware work force that will enter the job market with advanced knowledge and skills," he said.

"Proof that this initiative is valuable is that 63 of the graduates have already found jobs in the private and public sectors."

Dr Al Alawi said big companies should follow Microsoft's lead in adopting programmes that merge Bahrainis into the job market.

"We are very grateful to the support Microsoft has given towards employment which is a highly important national issue," he added.

The training conducted by the BIT focused on software tools like MS Windows and MS Office as well as Internet skills.

BDB and BIT chairman Shaikh Ebrahim bin Khalifa Al Khalifa said BIT shared a long running relationship with Microsoft.

"The partnership between the ministry, BIT and Microsoft is based on a shared vision to develop qualified and committed IT professionals equipped to play a leading role in the sustainable development of the kingdom," he said.

"Through this initiative we are working towards turning this vision into a reality."

BTI director Mohammed Derbas said they were pleased to partner with Microsoft in this programme and to see it put into practice, creating opportunities for the unemployed in Bahrain.

"We are proud to see the graduates of today achieve this success and we wish them a prosperous future," he said.

Career Connections is part of the Microsoft Unlimited Potential (UP) programme, which is a global initiative that focuses on improving lifelong learning for disadvantaged young people and adults.

Microsoft Bahrain country manager Samir Benmakhlouf said they believe that by providing technical skills training they can partner with other community leaders to create social and economic opportunities that can change people's lives and transform communities.

"Microsoft is working closely with the ministry to support its efforts to strengthen the local and regional economy," he said.

"We are proud to have developed Career Connections with our partners and value the benefits it brings to our community."

Mr Benmakhlouf said helping governments and communities to realise their economic goals and potential through e-skills learning for education and employability is a top priority for Microsoft.

"We are helping to bridge the global technology gap by providing the training tools people need to realise their potential," he said.

"When you are a leader like Microsoft then you have a social responsibility towards governments and customers you deal with.

"Helping solve the unemployment problem is an issue that we see is very important."

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