Markaz Graduate Development Program Continues Despite COVID-19 Lockdown


Kuwait Financial Centre “Markaz” announced the successful roll out of its Markaz Graduate Development Program (MGDP), despite the lockdown that was enforced in recent months as a means of combating the COVID-19 pandemic. The program, which has been running for four consecutive years, falls in line with the company’s CSR strategy that partly aims at developing the skills of Kuwait youth.

The continuation of the vocational training program despite the pandemic stands as testament to the determination and commitment of Markaz to support its stakeholders. With a solid contingency plan that was immediately activated, Markaz has effectively and efficiently resumed operations remotely, throughout the entire lockdown period. In spite of various limitations during this time, Markaz stakeholders’ best interest was placed at the top of the company’s priorities.

That said; the current round of the MGDP, which continues to run until January 2021, was made possible with the efforts of the Markaz HR team. Hand in hand to overcome the challenge, the team performed a swift and effective restructuring process to the program, in an effort to accommodate the change in settings and accessibility of trainees, while ensuring the quality and standard of service excellence was elevated.

As a result, a new approach was presented by Markaz trainers, where trainees were continuously engaged on a weekly basis through a series of virtual activations and online courses, with each topic covered over the course of three to five days. Moreover; and with the support of Markaz’s external training partners, the HR team converted all planned classroom sessions into e-learning equivalents, and added select technical and professional learning within the existing program.

Commenting on this achievement, Mr. Peter Kelly, EVP Human Resources at “Markaz” said: “The Markaz Graduate Development Program is one we take great pride in. It allows us to deploy our expertise to better hone the skills of our youth and contribute to the buildout of their careers. We strongly decided that the value and impact of this program would not be limited by the health-related restrictions on our workplace, and the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 outbreak only fueled our determination to deliver. With the concentrated efforts of our HR team, the challenge was taken up and connecting virtually was leveraged to provide one of our most successful training program years to date. I would like to thank our training colleagues for giving the program a new life, regardless of the circumstances, and all the trainees for their trust in us to deliver a high-quality, high-value program.”

The program, which regularly begins in February every year, allows fresh Kuwaiti graduates to gain positive work experience and skills at Markaz through an extensive one-year experience, during which all graduates are given the opportunity to undertake and excel at day-to-day tasks and responsibilities under the work scope of Markaz. The graduates are rotated through all departments at Markaz for a thorough overview. The trainees are then allocated to a department for an extended placement. Throughout the program, graduates receive a mix of direct and online training, alongside practical activities. At the end of each program, Markaz ensures that each trainee receives a recommendation letter, in support of their future career and job applications, to increase the chances of their further advancement.

As Markaz staff members gradually return to office, the program continues to run virtually and has also developed into an internal coaching program for Markaz staff, to further reinforce their skills in guiding and developing the trainees and take the program to a whole new level.