Qatar Career Development Center (QCDC) has wrapped up the first edition of its Career Readiness Program, which aims to enhance the delivery of career guidance services to students with mild to moderate learning challenges from Awsaj Academy.
Adapting the best international career guidance models into the local context, the programme bolsters the confidence of students, creating more opportunities to grow their skills and help them make informed choices about their professional future. It also attempts to establish effective local career eco-systems and reshape society’s approach to education and learning.
At the same time, the programme tackles three key challenges, the first of which is assuring families their child’s education is leading to a valued outcome. The second challenge is to bring awareness to the larger community about barriers students face and how these can be lifted. A third challenge that will be addressed in the next academic year is to educate employers on how to integrate the concerned population in their operations.
During a ceremony held recently at Awsaj Academy in Education City to celebrate the completion of the programme, students shared their journey with parents, counsellors, and members of both QCDC and Awsaj Academy.
Commenting on the initiative, QCDC Director Abdulla Al Mansoori said the Career Readiness Program represents more than just another career guidance-related project.
It is an important initiative that reflects our strong commitment along with partners to empowering all segments of society to make a meaningful contribution to the advancement of Qatar National Vision 2030.’
According to Awsaj Academy Director Mark Hughes, their objective is to support students on functional, social and academic levels with programmes that prepare them for beyond school, college, or career pathways.
At Awsaj Academy, our students receive support in outlined areas, and collaborating with QCDC during the Career Readiness Program helps make services available for our students with an emphasis of meeting diverse learning needs. As we integrate students back into the community, they are equipped with a combination of academics and functional skills aligned with their personal capabilities and professional interests.’
The Career Readiness Program was piloted last year under a Memorandum of Understanding between QCDC and Awsaj Academy.
The programme featured weekly cross-structural interventions and project-based learning activities that have been integrated in the school’s curriculums. Activities included workshops, motivational talks by Qatari entrepreneurs, field trips to different industries, volunteering opportunities, and social responsibility projects that highlight the ethical values of Qatari society, and connects the larger community with students.
The programme also featured practical internship opportunities. QCDC created individual internship plans that capitalised on the strengths and interests of students. The internships ran on a weekly basis, with tasks gradually increasing in complexity and intensity.
Through such activities, the programme empowers students to become active members of society by seeking career paths that align with QNV 2030, and contribute positively to the diversification of the Qatari economy.
For more information about QCDC, visit qcdc.org.qa.