Back in October 2018, Zain Bahrain relaunched their Future University Network program (F.U.N) – a program designed for university students to enhance their skills and prepare them for the job market. Since its inception in 2009, the program has benefited more than 1,500 Bahraini university students between the ages 18 to 24. Awesome right? Not, only that, but according to statistics by Zain Bahrain, 80% of the students who participated in the program have had access to better opportunities!
Revamped and relaunched under the new name “Zain Youth” the program is on a whole new level. Trust us when we say, that you as a university student would want to join this program – and if you already graduated, you’d wish you can go back in time to try out this program.
Think we’re exaggerating? How about we have a nice chat with Dana Bukhammas,
- First things first – What is Zain Youth? According to Dana, the revamped initiative aims to empower young Bahrainis with leading skills that are inspired by the World Economic Forum 2020 to help them succeed in such a rapidly changing market. The program basically provides training to university students and equips them with the necessary skills, which in turn will prepare them for the job market.
- How’s it different than F.U.N? Zain Youth takes F.U.N to the next level. Drawing from the success of F.U.N, the program is developed in collaboration with leading training organizations and is focused on upskilling young Bahrainis and have them ready for the job market by the time they graduate. Dana tells us that Zain Youth is developed around four key pillars to provide training opportunities to all participants based on their needs. These include:
- Future Pioneers – Focused on developing real working experiences and developing employability skills over a three-year period
- The Last Chapter – A two-month engagement whereby students get to work on a real business case to complete their graduation project and simultaneously are paired with a mentor to guide them.
- Summer Internship – Provides real working exposure over a two-month placement during summer to get a better understanding of the working environment requirements before graduation.
- The Mentor – Targets school students in grades 11-12 in government and private schools to give them a head-start in thinking about their career so they can choose the right academic path.
“We’ve designed these pillars to be complementary to one another while also being solid individual platforms for development, thereby providing the most possible exposure and opportunity to Bahraini youth,” Dana States
- Participants will have access to a range of activities and workshops organized by Zain. These include:
- Zain Knowledge Week (ZKW) – A dedicated week for learning, aimed at elevating employees’ knowledge collectively, an average of 24 parallel sessions to address an area of interest from 360°.
- Zain Master Class (ZMC) – Similar to ZKW, but delivered quarterly that’s all about digital transformation, bitcoins, and blockchain, and all sorts of tech-related topics. The two hours ZMC is usually followed by a series of focus groups to further explore the topic and learn more about the implementation process.
- Talks – Every month, a seminar is held whereby local, regional and international academics, experts, and intellectuals are invited to share their inspirational stories with Zain employees. So far, Zain has hosted Mr. Sami Al
Buarki, Mr. Ahmed Fadhul, and Mohammed Al Mouathen, amongst others.
- E-Learning – After every training session, a series of e-learning courses are usually suggested to Zain employees. “Zain Bahrain Developed a platform called Zain Learning Environment (ZLE), an online social tool, designed and developed internally to Zain Bahrain and aims t supporting employees in Self-development,” Dana States. ZLE provides access to various hubs such as Lynda, Coursera, Degreed, Audible and more.
- It’s about empowering your employees. “As a responsible business, one of Zain Bahrain commitments is to empower the local talents in the market it operates in,” Dana shares. With this mission in mind, the role of Learning & Development became strategic within Zain. With over 92% Bahranization level, the aim is to retain and develop Bahraini talents that can be promoted for future sourcing and can help grow the business.
- It’s also about “Giving Back to the Community”. With Zain, it’s not just about knowledge consumption and gaining new skills. Dana shares with us their new program called “Giving Back to Community” whereby each employee and Zain Youth member have up to 24 hours to give back to the community. “The aim of this initiative is to create responsible citizens that are aware and willing to contribute to the society by sharing their knowledge, expertise, and support, which will
in turncreate opportunities,” she shares. According to Dana, the initiative revolves around 2 core ideas:
- Zain believes that the power of the brand values manifests when they are lived and demonstrated. Through this initiative, we are proud to announce that in 2018 the organization was able to dedicate 750 hours from the employee’s and Zain Youth member’s time in CSR initiative.
- Raise the level of pride and self-fulfillment of Zain Bahrain employees and Zain Youth member’s, by dedicating
numberof hours to serve the community.
The lovely Dana concludes by telling us that she doesn’t see what she’s doing at Zain as her job. She considers Human capital development a passion of hers that motivates her every morning. Dana also strongly believes that when companies give the right space and tools for their employees to grow, then they’ll be more than capable to make a difference in their workplace and help not just the company’s growth, but the entire country.
“I had been working with Zain for the past 15 years, and every year is quite different than the other. In such a dynamic sector, the HR role is very critical to keep employees up to date and always motivated to face challenges and grow the business,” Dana says.