“My dream was to help other youth find their path,” says Ashraf Abou Zeid, Masr Ta3mal (Masr Works) trainer in Aswan Youth Center. And this is exactly what he has done. Ashraf, like hundreds of youth, was recruited by the Ministry of Youth, trained by Microsoft Egypt on the Career Coaching curricula, and became Masr Ta3mal Career trainer. Ashraf has trained tens of youth in Aswan Youth Center, in Upper Egypt.
In Upper Egypt, there is a mismatch between the present level of education and the required job skills within the employment market. After getting their bachelor degrees, many of the youth hope to work in a governmental institution or to start their own micro or small businesses. The Masr Ta3mal initiative is helping youth to do this, by offering employability services with the government youth centers across Egypt. These centers provide the youth with employment opportunities in the Ministry of Youth and help others to find their career path and start their business.
The Masr Ta3mal initiative is a result of a partnership between Microsoft Egypt, the Ministry of Youth and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Egypt. The project aims to empower Egyptian youth and help them realize opportunities through capacity building, job placement and entrepreneurship. By equipping the Ministry of Youth centers with an online employability portal, the initiative is transforming the centers to provide a full employability eco-system from career advising, training, job placement and entrepreneurship. It helps these centers to foster the development of entrepreneurial skills and to promote creativity, personal initiative and independent thinking among young people. In doing so, they are bridging the gap between the educational system and the job market needs in Egypt.
“I can see Nubian crafts are sold internationally and I know that I can do it,” said Neama Ibrahim, an Egyptian young woman from Aswan who is working at Aswan Local Information Institution. She has always dreamt of starting her own business that would market Nubian handmade accessories all over Egypt, but did not have the means and tools to help achieve her dream. Luckily, Neama was introduced to Masr Ta3mal center in Aswan and got her first Career Coaching session with Abou Zeid where she was equipped with the tools to start her own business and the resources needed to attain her dream.
Abou Zeid introduced “Get online” training, part of the joint partnership between Microsoft Egypt, the Ministry of Youth and UNDP, to Neama where she learnt valuable computer skills needed to run a business. She also received the “Build your Business” online curricula that provide the entrepreneurial basics.
Neama received an entrepreneurial scholarship and has also competed with a hundred teams in an entrepreneurial contest – where she won 3rd place. She has now finished her complete business plan and she is working on launching her online marketing portal to sell Nubian Handmade accessories.
These are just two stories of many more. To date, Masr Ta3mal has resulted in the creation of 27 Centers, 120 career advisors, 2547 advising sessions and 13 job fairs.