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Programme offers fresh graduates hands-on training, equips them with employability skills

By Merza Noghai - Mar 08,2015 - Last updated at Mar 08,2015

AMMAN — When Nawras Bani Yassin graduated recently with a degree in mechanical engineering from the Jordan University of Science and Technology (JUST), he was worried about finding employment.

“The thing that worried me the most... was how to get a job, as a fresh graduate, without having any experience,” Bani Yassin said.

But the graduate has now mastered some of the skills required to make it in the labour market after completing the first phase of the Total Young Graduate Programme, and will now embark on the second phase in Mauritius in April.

In the first phase of the 18-month programme, graduates are hired on short-term contracts and receive training in finance, business or operations for six months at a Total subsidiary in Africa or the Middle East, Philippe Cabus, the managing director of Total Jordan, told reporters on Sunday.

“Their performance is then assessed; and if they meet the required standards, they will be sent to another Total subsidiary in the same region where they will work for a period of 12 months — the second part of the programme,” Cabus added.

Total, which employs around 1,000 people in Jordan, launched the programme in April 2014 targeting fresh graduates from more than 40 countries in Africa and the Middle East in which the French company operates.

“Locally, Total Jordan welcomed three fresh graduates from the Jordan University of Science and Technology, with whom we have had a partnership with since 2013,” Cabus said.

He added that the three selected graduates, who joined the programme in September 2014, are ready for the second phase where they will join Total Marketing and Services’ affiliates in Mauritius and Egypt for 12 months.

While Bani Yassin will go to Mauritius, Sara Digis, a civil engineering graduate will join Total in Egypt along with Ahmad Badarneh, an electrical engineer.

The graduates told The Jordan Times that the programme was a good opportunity for them to acquire experience needed in the labour market.

They were among many JUST students who applied to join the programme at a job fair Total organised on campus.

The programme has so far attracted 100 young people from Africa and the Middle East, 54 per cent of whom are women, from 64 universities, Cabus said, noting the programme aims at benefiting some 500 fresh graduates by 2017.

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