31 March 2021- Trainers become certified to deliver vocational training at a new inclusive centre in City Centre Almaza

Ahead of the opening of a new hub for inclusive recruitment and training located in City Centre Almaza, which is set to empower people with the skills and opportunities needed to build careers in retail and hospitality, 11 trainers have been certified by People 1st International to deliver a range of vocational training programmes.

The trainers, which form part of the Education for Employment Egypt (EFE Egypt) trainer network, attended a five-day “train the trainer” course to learn how to deliver five vocational programmes, all contextualised for Egypt. The programmes, combined with existing EFE Egypt training courses, will form a key part of the offering at the new training centre to impart vocationally relevant technical and employability skills to future trainees.

The training centre, which is set to launch virtually on 7 April, is funded by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) of the Swiss Confederation, implemented by Majid Al Futtaim Properties Egypt and will be run by EFE Egypt.

The five programmes include:

  • Employment 1st: A two-week flexible, modular employability, soft and technical skills programme. Developed with hospitality employers, it focuses on the skills, attitudes and behaviour that develop an employee, rather than a trainee, who is job-ready and can hit the ground running once in position. 
  • Retail Works: A two-week, full-time employability and soft skills training programme. Developed with leading retailers, the programme aims to inspire the youth to enter the retail sector in City Centre Almaza and throughout Egypt, and builds the skills, knowledge and attitudes required for a successful career in retail.
  • Coaching for Success: A half-day programme designed for retail and hospitality supervisors and managers to enable them to maximize the performance of their existing teams, new recruits as well as trainees on work placement.
  • Customer Service Ambassador: Encouraging participants to work as a team towards customer service excellence throughout the Egyptian hospitality and travel and tourism industries, the programme also aims to help teams exceed customer expectations and to be knowledgeable, articulate ambassadors for the destinations they work in.
  • Café Culture/Casual Dining: A blended programme of soft and technical skills lasting eight weeks and delivering over 200 hours. The programme provides a basic understanding of food and beverage service operations within casual dining cafes and coffee shops.

The training was led by People 1st International’s master trainer Jayne Norman, who comments:

“I was completely impressed by the skills and expertise level of the trainers and the supreme level of effort, motivation and enthusiasm given by each and every participant throughout the five days. For six hours a day, the participants were unwaveringly dedicated to the training; were punctual, attentive and extremely active in participation and in the generation of ideas and plans for how to utilise the material.”

Jane Rexworthy, Executive Director of People 1st International, adds:

“This has provided trainers with exposure to fresh employability and technical skills trainings at a UK standard that have been robustly contextualised for the retail and hospitality sectors in Egypt. It has given the trainers additional resources to be able to deliver high-quality and fit-for-purpose trainings within the new centre. 

“The trainers certified are the embodiment of highly tuned soft skills; displaying team ethics, camaraderie and excellent communication and interpersonal skills that make them ideal for their role ahead.”

Adding to this, Diaa Yehia , Country Head  at Majid Al Futtaim Properties Egypt, states,

“This training – led by People 1st International – is a testament to the Egyptian population’s continuous efforts in leading the next generations to a more successful future. By providing inclusive, international standard trainings, we will be able to continue guaranteeing a skilled team that works to ensure we provide great moments for everyone, everyday.”

Nora Abou El Seoud, EFE-Egypt CEO adds:

“The training was an enriching addition to EFE-Egypt’s capabilities. Our trainers are our backbone; they are the directors of our students’ learning experience, skill training and employability. They are the hidden factor behind the success of the organization and its beneficiaries. People 1st International training has increased their capacity to create more achievements and take EFE-Egypt’s impact to a new level”

The virtual launch of ARTC will be taking place on Zoom on 7 April from 3pm – 430pm (Eastern European Standard Time). To join the event, register here.

7 April 2021- New vocational training center at Majid Al Futtaim's City Centre Almaza helps Egypt's youth develop careers in retail and hospitality

Majid Al Futtaim, the leading shopping mall, communities, retail and leisure pioneer across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, announced the opening of the Almaza Recruitment & Training Centre (ARTC) in City Centre Almaza, one of its four shopping malls in Egypt, in partnership with People 1st International and Education for Employment-Egypt (EFE-Egypt). The center has employed 11 certified trainers who deliver five vocational training programmes that work to ensure youth are provided with the set of skills that will help them build and secure careers in the retail and hospitality industries.


Funded by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) of the Swiss Confederation, the ARTC is established by Majid Al Futtaim, and will be operated by EFE-Egypt. The newly opened training center provides employability skills to future trainees, offering them five modules that include a range of programmes, from a half-day to a two-week course. The modules cover everything from soft and technical skills to how to achieve customer service excellence to develop job-ready, motivated employees that perform at the highest levels.


Commenting on the opening, Rasha Azab, Acting Managing Director of West Region Shopping Malls at Majid Al Futtaim — Properties, stated: “At Majid Al Futtaim, we are committed to the development and success of our colleagues by helping them achieve significant milestones in their career journey. By partnering with People 1st International and EFE-Egypt, we will be able to continue providing exceptional services to the public while giving back to the Egyptian community by helping secure job opportunities for the youth amidst global uncertainty.”


Jane Rexworthy, Executive Director at People 1st International, added: “The retail and hospitality sectors in Egypt require exceptional communication and interpersonal skills. With the establishment of the ARTC, and with the significant effort placed by all partners, we are able to provide an international standard of training that drives the next generation of employees to a more successful, fulfilling future. In order to ensure a team of trainers that inspire the youth to become leaders of the industry and provide them with the training that will develop their behaviour, skills and attitudes, we held a five-day ‘train the trainer’ course for the trainers themselves.”


In addition to this, Nora Abou El Seoud, CEO at EFE-Egypt noted: “With a rising demand for economic and job security, the job market has become even more competitive – which is where ARTC comes in. Our network of trainers looks to support the youth seeking a career in retail and hospitality by developing and training articulate ambassadors that deliver maximized performance within their teams.”

In order to ensure that ARTC is a barrier free training center, building the center’s capacity requires the training of its management, staff and trainers in order to identify and eliminate the barriers that people with disabilities are likely to face which is Helm’s role in the creation of this center. Ramez Maher, Co-founder and Managing Director of Helm Egypt quoted: “Our main method of support is to educate ARTC staff on disability awareness and ethics and how to make all participants and learners feel welcomed and accepted in order to perform well and be included in the job market. One of the major trainers is how to foster an inclusive classroom and be able to provide learners with all the resources needed to provide them with equal opportunities in the job market. This isn’t a project that will end through the launch of the center, we believe that this an ongoing journey of continuous improvement and learning with Helm as a partner to ensure that we leave no one behind and to always be there when the support is needed.”


The ARTC first opened its doors to the public during a virtual launch event on April 7, 2021 which saw speeches from Diaa Yehia, Egypt Country Head at Majid Al Futtaim Properties; Nora Abou El Seoud, CEO of Education for Employment-Egypt; Marko Stermsek, Inclusion Specialist of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development; Ramez Maher, Co-founder and Managing Director of Helm Egypt; Christine Lewis, North Africa Program Manager of the Swiss Secretariat for Economic Affairs; Basma Hosny, Training and Development Manager of Crave Restaurants and Catering and Jane Rexworthy, Executive Director of People 1st International.