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UAE: Free programme to help unemployed expats find jobs

Dubai - It is open only to those who lost their jobs because of the Covid-19 pandemic.


Dhanusha Gokulan

Published: Sun 28 Mar 2021, 3:01 PM

Last updated: Sun 28 Mar 2021, 3:08 PM

A group of entrepreneurs in Dubai is hoping to help people who lost their jobs to Covid-19 — with a five-week skills improvement programme. The online course will be free of charge and, by the end of it, five individuals will be offered employment.

Set to kick off on April 1, the ‘Finding Light Now’ initiative was launched by psychologist and life coach Hiba Balfaqih. She described the course as a ‘Big Brother meets the Apprentice’ learning initiative, aiming to help unemployed men and women develop their mind, body, spirit, and social skills to gain new employable skills.

Applicants will have to prove they have lost their jobs because of the pandemic, since the programme is not open to those who are currently employed.

“Candidates will be selected to engage in a transformation programme through a wide range of workshops, mentoring and coaching to help them grow and improve their mindset,” Balfaqih told Khaleej Times.

According to the International Labour Organisation, global unemployment increased by 33 million in 2020, resulting in widespread mental health disorders. With the CSR initiative , the group hopes to help people find their way and overcome their limiting beliefs, said Balfaqih, a serial entrepreneur with over 10 years of experience in human resources.

Five candidates will be hired

At the end of the programme, five candidates will be hired by entrepreneurs who have partnered with Balfaqih. “These are entrepreneurs who run their businesses and have opened up vacancies towards the cause. Positions include assistants, social media personnel, content writers, etc.,” she said.

The course is broken down into five stages. “Stage one is personal discovery, where individuals are encouraged to realise their life’s purpose and things they are passionate about.”

In stage two, applicants are taught to create possibilities. “A lot of people assume no one is hiring during Covid-19, which is not the case. In this stage, we teach individuals the value of re-branding their image. It is done through a series of webinars and educational talks with experts in the field,” Balfaqih explained.

“During the ‘refining yourself’ stage, we focus on posture, personal communication, and applicants undergo mock interviews. We also educate them on the right etiquette for e-mail and follow-up.” This stage also focuses on mental health and the importance of meditation and journaling.

In stages four and five, the programme focuses on upskilling and adding final touches. “Soft skills, such as the use of software such as Photoshop, Canva, Monday, and Slack, for example, are taught during this phase. The final phase is a huge Q&A where applicants can ask questions to entrepreneurs,” she added.

The course has already received interest from 20 applicants. “We have space for 30 more; however, since it is an online-only programme, we can take many more,” said Balfaqih.

Individuals who want to be considered for Finding Light programme are invited to follow its @findinglightnow Instagram page, answer an elaborate questionnaire explaining their situation, and then join the WhatsApp group to register their interest. Applications close on March 31.


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