Vale’s partnership with Outward Bound Oman prepares youth to join the workforce

August 28, 2014 11:41 am

Two groups of Vale-sponsored students from North Al Batinah have successfully completed a four-day experience-based outdoor program with Outward Bound Oman in Jabal Al Akhdar.

Planned in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, the program bridges the worlds of education and work by providing students with the opportunity to develop essential skill sets that will support their transition into the workforce.

The journey of self-discovery was designed to enhance participants’ self-confidence and leadership, teamwork and negotiation skills, in the hopes that these lessons are applied in their professional lives. Through a series of tasks, the teams put their problem solving abilities, communication capabilities and organizational talents to the test to overcome adverse conditions.

H.E. Dr. Hamood Khalfan Al Harthi, Undersecretary of Education and Curricula at the Ministry of Education said, “Our partnership with Vale to oversee the participation of 216 students from North Al Batinah in the Outward Bound Oman is a clear example of the role private and public sectors can play in collaborating as one to cultivate and nurture young Omani talent and contribute to the development of a robust workforce. At the Ministry of Education, we are keen to bridge the academic learning in the classroom with the realities of today’s challenging and fast-paced working environment to improve our youth’s prospects of joining the best organization in the future. We believe that this outdoor experience will play an integral role in fostering innovative minds, dynamic personalities and stronger leaders of tomorrow.”

“Not everything in life is taught in the classroom,” said Sergio Espeschit, Vale’s CEO in Oman.

“We are always on the look-out for programs that challenge the boundaries of comfort because we believe that many lessons are best learned through experience. Together with Outward Bound Oman and the Ministry of Education, we hope to contribute to building Oman’s national talent by supporting leadership courses that reinforce key life skills sought out by employers throughout the country. Our aim is to work hand-in-hand with the youth to help them realize their vision for a sustainable and successful future.”

As part of its corporate culture, Vale involves its employees within its initiatives and this year, four Vale employees joined the expedition to mentor participants and share their personal experience and guide them through their challenges. The Vale team selected to go on the expedition come from diverse cultural and professional backgrounds, allowing them to exemplify varied perspectives on life’s important lessons.

Safiya Al Kiyumi, one of the Vale-sponsored students from Hind bint Umrah School, said, “The tasks throughout the expedition were not only fun but purposeful and gave us a chance to figure out how to best use our abilities and skills. What I learned about leadership, teamwork and how to deal with failures to get myself back up and continue until I reach my goal will guide me throughout my life. I realize I am different now, I have become more self-reliant. I now pay attention to time management, water wastage and how to look after the environment, and appreciate my food, drink and home a lot more.”

Entering into a three-year partnership with Outward Bound Oman in 2012, Vale has today enrolled 129 students from 13 schools in Liwa, Sohar and Shinas into the program, unlocking their potential and expanding their capacities. Continuing to advocate youth development in the North Al Batinah Governorate, Vale dedicates its efforts to implement and fund various outreach projects that focus on education for work, entrepreneurship, health and environment as well as sports and culture. Using its global resources and experiences, the company has also extended its support and expertise to several government and non- government agencies looking to establish innovative capacity development programs in the Sultanate.