Free Courses Launched to build workers careers in Dubai

Scores of blue-collar workers have started receiving free English classes and other courses to boost their skills set under an initiative of Danube Welfare Centre (DWC) in partnership with Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (Jafza).

More than 1,000 workers in Jafza South accommodation units have registered for the training, which includes personality development; interview, presentation and communication skills; as well as computer literacy.

The programme was officially launched on Thursday by top representatives from Danube, Jafza and Community Development Authority (CDA) at the DWC in Jafza South. It aims to eventually reach around 15,000 potential worker-students in the area and even more beyond.

A main goal of the initiative is to equip workers with skills and confidence so they can build their careers. It comes in line with the Year of Giving initiative of the UAE.

Students will attend three classes a week — each an hour long — over several months, depending on their standing as a beginner, intermediate or advanced, which is assessed during registration. They will be able to take evening and Friday classes outside their regular work hours.

Sana Sajan, Director of DWC, said the initiative is the brainchild of Rizwan Sajan, founder and chairman of Danube Group. She explained that an employee who was once asked to prepare a scoreboard for a company team-building cricket match declined to do so. Later, he confided to Rizwan Sajan that he had declined because he did not know how to write. His situation moved Sajan to, initially, start the classes for Danube employees. Later, a centre in Karama was opened to accommodate more workers; around 5,000 workers have completed their course through the centre.

On Thursday, Sajan, flanked by top officials from Jafza, CDA and other entities, formally inaugurated the DWC in Jafza South for workers in the area, who are employed at various firms. During a tour of the centre, the officials interacted with the students and urged them to pursue their dreams. They later briefed media about the programme.

When asked about his reason for launching the DWC service in Jafza South, Sajan said: “I felt this was one small way I could give back to society. Already 5,000 people have learnt through, and we can double this figure in a year.”

He added: “Without support from Jafza, this would not have been possible. My vision is to train blue-collar workers so they can elevate their position and earn more. If they learn English and computer skills and are groomed under a guided programme, they can do a better job, apply for a new position, and earn more money.”

Mohammad Al Mua’alem, CEO of Jafza, described the programme as “a noble initiative”, saying Jafza was “really pleased to be partners” in the initiative, and promised full support for the cause.

Omar Al Muthanna, CEO of CDA, said the goal of the CDA and such initiatives is to “move from regular welfare to community empowerment” so workers and others can “have the right tools — education, skills, and knowledge — to move to a more independent situation”.

The DWC is a non-profit social organisation licensed by the CDA, offering a range of free training courses to help unskilled workers improve their language skills and further develop their careers.

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