Social Development Center (SDC), a member of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science, and Community Development, graduated a batch of 118 trainees who have completed the First Step program, an extensive training and development program officially sponsored by ExxonMobil Qatar, at the Qatar National Convention Centre.
Present at the graduation ceremony were Amal Al Mannai – Executive Director, SDC, Bart Cahir – Acting President and General Manager, ExxonMobil Qatar, among other senior officials, graduates, and their families.
Founded in 2005, First Step is a training program that focuses on the professional development of individuals within the age bracket of 18 to 30. The training helps individuals hone their existing skill set, as well as acquire practical administrative, problems solving, effective decision making, and strong communication skills, ensuring that they enter the workforce as confident professionals.
“First Step is one of the few programs that places great emphasis on what our trainees and interns will be able to give back to the organizations they work for once they graduate,” said Al Mannai.
“We are proud of our graduates, and convinced that this extensive training will help them become highly productive members of society and add value to any organization they work for. I would also like to thank ExxonMobil, whose generous partnership and profound sense of corporate social responsibility, made this occasion possible,” she said.
Al Mannai also spoke at length about SDC’s Strategic Plan 2012 – 2016, which aims to train 234 Qatari nationals under First Step.
In line with SDC’s mission, First Step is designed to contribute towards constructing a knowledge-based economy, by fostering a culture of productivity and self-development. This approach is also expected to help build stable families.
“ExxonMobil’s partnership with the Social Develop Center and its First Step Program has been so fruitful over the years because our shared objectives of empowering the local workforce are directly in line with developing human capacity as part of the Qatar National Vision 2030,” said Bart Cahir, President and General Manager of ExxonMobil Qatar.
”At ExxonMobil, we understand that making the most of energy development is about more than oil and gas production, it is also about developing people and creating and delivering sustainable, long-term benefits for local communities.”
One of the graduates, Khoullod Hassan Al-Qahtani, said, “As the youth of Qatar, programs like First Step have a major impact on our lives and careers. For me personally, First Step has acted as a means of achieving my professional goals and aspirations. I was able to gain knowledge and skills that are crucial for the value-added excellence that Qatar deserves across all its sectors.”
“From the basics to the final stages, everything that we were taught during First Step, including language, scientific, and computer skills, complies with international standards, and can be applied practically in the workplace, including language and computer skills,” he said.
From 2005 to 2011, First Step has trained 366 trainees, including 270 females and 96 of the males. During the 2012 – 2013 academic year, First Step is expected to train a total of 136 male and female trainees.
In addition to training and professional development, some of SDC’s social and community development initiatives include its dynamic volunteer program, Kafu Awareness Campaign for volunteering, Rasameel business funding program, and the Reyada Awards for Entrepreneurs. For more information on SDC’s initiatives, please visit http://www.sdc.org.qa/.
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