GE Leadership Series: Creating Great Jobs and Tomorrow’s Leaders in Algeria
Youth unemployment in Algeria is nearly 25%. Female unemployment is more than 16%. Overall, the country’s national unemployment is about 10%. No surprise, then, that job creation is a priority for the government, while the International Monetary Fund has called for more efforts to improve youth and female employment.
The private sector can play an important role in supporting these efforts, and GE has been active in Algeria with major job-creating investments, including the recently announced joint venture with Sonelgaz, the national power company, to establish GE Turbines Algeria (GEAT). The new company will create more than 1,000 high-value jobs. GE also is a partner in ALGESCO, a facility established 20 years ago that employs more than 200 skilled repair technicians that work on power and oil & gas equipment. ALGESCO also is a learning center that can train up to 250 professionals annually.
Touffik Fredj, President and CEO for GE North West Africa, explains that localizing the company’s operations through manufacturing and training facilities in Algeria “creates value, high-quality manufacturing, employment and new partnership.” It also demonstrates the company’s deep commitment to Algeria and region.
In addition to creating jobs, he speaks about how GE is helping build the country’s corps of business leaders. Beginning this year, GE North Africa launched for its employees an ongoing series of locally hosted leadership courses from the John F. Welch Leadership Center at Crotonville – the company’s leadership training university that was founded in 1956 as the world’s first major corporate university.
The company also develops leaders by identifying and hiring talented local employees. Fredj says that crucial to building effective leaders at GE is “empowering employees and giving them responsibilities, training and experiences that build their confidence as leaders.”
When hiring university graduates, Fredj says that GE looks for candidates who are “engaged, passionate and serious; people who have a fresh mind and an appetite to learn, and demonstrate an ambition to be part of GE and Algeria’s progress.”
GE also contributes to government efforts to promote female employment. “We support gender diversity by hiring women and training them. We employ women on the manufacturing and repair shop floor and as field service engineers, and we promote the GE Women’s Network [a networking and support forum for female GE employees], while we also ensure women are in management and leadership positions,” Fredj says.