A trade school that gives workers hope
The main aim of the trade school is to educate skilled and unskilled workers and equip them with the tools for a better life.
Dubai - The trade school has provided over 4,000 labourers from different backgrounds (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh etc) with the unique opportunity to improve their future through customised training programmes.
By Saman Haziq
Published: Thu 11 Jan 2018, 9:20 PM
Last updated: Thu 11 Jan 2018, 11:22 PM
Ijaz Mohammad, 38, came to the UAE two years ago as a labourer. He wasn't happy as his self respect was being undermined when he told his children that he worked as a labourer. Ijaz soon got a chance not only to change this but also to realise a long-cherished dream of performing Umrah.
He got enrolled in trade school - run by Al Naboodah Group Enterprise (ANGE) - that aims to provide day-to-day construction skills and basic reading and writing classes to the employees. Just like Ijaz, the trade school has provided over 4,000 labourers from different backgrounds (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh etc) with the unique opportunity to improve their future through customised training programmes.
"I came as a labourer as I couldn't really get a chance to be at school or learn some skills in my home country but always had this burning desire to become something in life. This training centre gave me that chance to upgrade and prove myself. I was given a professional training for three weeks under an engineer and a foreman. We were first taught about the new skill and then given a hands-on training on how to do it. My English vocabulary also has improved as I learnt many different words and terms," Ijaz told Khaleej Times.
Ijaz now feels proud to tell his family back home that he is a steel fixer and not a labourer. "I have an old mother, who is partially blind, and I have a wife and three children. My salary has increased because of this special training and so has my grade. I recently fulfilled my life-long dream of performing Umrah and now I hope to take my family also for the same." The trade school started training of workers from 2016 and has since helped increase the overall construction quality, production and general attitude and behaviour among the workers. The Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB) has also recognised the training centre and at the end of the training, all workers who successfully go through the training receive a certificate.
Bangladeshi national Khalil, 34, had been working as a labourer in the UAE for 11 years. But just three weeks of training has transformed his life as his salary went up and he has got a respectable designation - he is now a qualified carpenter.
"No one really respects you when you are a labourer. You are expected to do just any kind of work. But I cannot express my happiness now as I have a respectable designation. I can proudly say that I am a carpenter and now I have a focus in my life."
Khalil has old parents, a wife and two children back home whom he has to send money. "Earlier I could not save money and would hardly be able to send anything substantial, but now with the salary increase due to the new skills I have acquired at the trading school, I have started sending them a good amount and intend to build a house back home. I now have hope of going up further in my career by using my new skills and I intend refreshing them on a regular basis. "
Statia Breen, head of learning and development at the ANGE trade school, said: "The main aim of the trade school is to educate skilled and unskilled workers and equip them with the tools for a better life.
"Of course, the salary raise is something that brings happiness in their lives but it is the designation change that actually makes a big difference. From simple labourers they have transformed into smart operatives and given titles such as steel fixers, masons and carpenters and this has given such a boost to their confidence levels."