Besix Foundation, a private foundation established by Besix in 2009, has partnered with SmartLife to offer SmartReading training to Besix workers in the UAE.
In a statement, the foundation said that SmartReading, started by SmartLife to support the UAE’s 2016 Year of Reading initiative, is a five-month training programme designed to help blue-collar workers develop English reading and speaking skills.
The content of the programme, which includes English passages and short motivational stories, is customised to each student’s current English proficiency, according to the foundation, which revealed that the training is being offered to the labourers at the company’s staff accommodation in Jebel Ali.
Commenting on the SmartReading programme, Gurubasu Shrishail Katageri, senior sustainability engineer at Besix, said: "Many of the labourers we employ are skilled in [a] variety of construction and engineering methods, but very often they are unable to converse in any language other than their mother tongue.
“The programme not only improves our workers’ communication skills in English, but also brings a positive change in their personal lives, due to an increase in their confidence levels.”
Meanwhile, Manjula Ramakrishnan, project lead for SmartReading and official spokesperson for SmartLife, added: “The programme is currently in its fourth intake and has been a truly rewarding experience for the workers, not only in terms of their English improving. It has also had a big impact on their self-esteem.
“They realise that it is never too late to acquire a working knowledge of English, which is essential considering the multi-cultural environment we all work in.”
The collaboration with SmartLife is an extension to Besix’s ‘Right 2 Learn’ programme, which teaches workers basic computer and internet skills. To date ‘Right 2 Learn’ has reportedly trained more than 712 students across the Middle East.