Jeddah – MENA Herald: Starbucks, in collaboration with Bayt.com and Education For Employment (EFE), recently concluded their Opportunity Café initiative. This is said to be the largest professional training workshop on CV writing and interview skills in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The workshop that took place on April 18 at 29 Starbucks stores across 10 MENA countries, involved 35 professional trainers from Bayt.com, M.H. Alshaya (franchise operator for Starbucks in the MENA region), EFE, and 177 dedicated Starbucks partners (employees). Collectively, Opportunity Café will train 900 people through 116 group training sessions for youth between the ages of 16 to 35 regardless of their academic background.

As part of Starbucks’ Global Month of Service, Opportunity Café provided training sessions to aspiring youth across the MENA region, delivering strategic career advice from key experts, with the aim of helping them realise their professional dreams. To keep the momentum of the initiative going, EFE and its local affiliates will also share information about their existing job placement and employability programs, and Bayt.com will relay the Opportunity Café experience to all those who were unable to attend and will offer a free Job Search Strategy course.

“We are very excited about the preliminary results of the Opportunity Café concept. Being able to touch the lives of hundreds of youth and helping them further their careers is a truly rewarding feeling. Starbucks remains committed to making a difference in the local communities we operate in,” said Rana Shaheen, Regional Communications and CSR Manager for Starbucks MENA.

“We greatly enjoyed meeting so many wonderful people and helping them with their careers and CVs as a part of the Opportunity Café,” said Rania Nseir, Business Development Director, Bayt.com. “At Bayt.com, our mission is to empower people with the tools and information to lead their lifestyle of choice, and it was great to be able to give attendees insights about the job-market reality. At Bayt.com, with over 10,000 job opportunities available online and more than 40,000 employers using our website to recruit, we know that small details can go a long way in landing someone their dream jobs!”

Jasmine Nahhas di Florio, Vice President for Partnerships & Strategy at EFE-Global, added: “EFE remains dedicated to improving the lives of youth all across the MENA region by providing them with necessary skills and opportunities that will help them become productive, successful members of society. Partnering with Starbucks enabled us to reach hundreds of youth in a novel context, enabling them to take advantage of the Opportunity Café to further their ambitions and careers.”

In addition to Opportunity Café, Starbucks will continue to build its customer-partner relationship, connecting with people to improve their lives, whether it is through developing their repertoire of professional skills or solely by brewing them an excellent cup of coffee. The youth, those who will contribute to the fast-approaching future, are a primary target of Starbucks and will remain so throughout its CSR initiatives.