BARQ Academy: Youth Education

Developing today’s youth is critical for our ability to achieve our long-term goals. We know that diversity of thought will give us the innovative solutions needed to achieve net zero and nature positive, Group-wide.

Work experience in tech

BARQ Systems is a leading regional IT services provider that serves business and government clients across Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). They implement and maintain proven and scalable data and telecommunication infrastructure solutions and have offices in major cities in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and UAE. BARQ Systems is an operating unit of Al-Dabbagh Group and forms the Group’s Communication and Information Technology (CIT) Portfolio.

The BARQ Academy offers live training and work experience for high-performing students. At BARQ Systems Headquarters in Cairo selected candidates work on real customer scenarios for valuable job experience.


graduates since launch in 2017


of graduate population are female

The challenge

In 2017, youth unemployment in Egypt was 30%, three times higher than the overall national average unemployment rate. BARQ Academy was set up in 2017 after discussions with Egyptian universities about ways to increase the pipeline of high calibre candidates because there is a general lack of skills and experience in the IT market.

The universities cited securing relevant work experience as the key struggle for senior students and new graduates in IT.

The response and results

In response, and aligned with Al-Dabbagh Group’s Giving principle, BARQ Academy was launched with a free one-week programme offering both online and offline training. The Academy provides a pipeline of talented technical leaders both for BARQ systems and for the wider technical community in EMEA.

The live training and work experience for high-performing students takes place at BARQ Systems Headquarters in Cairo. The students work on real customer scenarios on technical, networking, security, routing and switching skills in addition to machine learning, cloud computing and AI tracks. This offers the students valuable job experience.

BARQ Academy has educated 693 graduates. Around one third of these graduates are female, 24 graduates have found direct employment with BARQ systems and from the 2021 graduate population, four secured employment within BARQ systems, including one female graduate.

The pandemic had a considerable impact in 2020, and so, 2021 heralded many changes in the programme structure such as offering the course year-round instead of during the summer period. Increased promotion efforts included social media campaigns, partnerships with universities and talks, which helped increase the graduate number by over 60%, from just 56 in 2020 to 171 in 2021.