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Merly Ann Alerge, Customer Service Officer at VOX Cinemas replenishes stock at Carrefour Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Cinema staff in Dubai are being reskilled to help with food packing and stock replenishment in supermarkets as the coronavirus situation continues.

A press release from Majid Al Futtaim said that more than 1,000 leisure, entertainment and cinema staff were being reskilled to join Carrefour supermarket on a temporary basis to help with online order fulfilment, food packing, stock replenishment and more.

This is because entertainment facilities have been closed to stop the spread of coronavirus while supermarkets remain open and in higher demand as people stock up on essentials.

The redeployment programme is designed to provide employees with an opportunity to retrain within the Majid Al Futtaim group. So far, 1,015 employees from VOX Cinemas, Magic Planet, Little Explorers and Ski Dubai in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Oman and Lebanon have been assigned to their new roles.

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VOX Cinemas employees at Carrefour fulfilment centre Image Credit: Supplied

The positions created will help Carrefour to cater to the increased demand at both its physical and online stores. In the first three weeks of March, Carrefour has seen an increase in customer demand across the region with daily online sales increasing by 50 per cent compared to the same period in February.

Alain Bejjani, Chief Executive Officer at Majid Al Futtaim – Holding, said, “In times of uncertainty, our commitment to our community of customers, employees, tenants and suppliers only becomes stronger. While we are ensuring that our customers get what they need when they need it, we are working with all stakeholder groups to ensure that we come through these challenging times together. The employee redeployment programme is a fantastic opportunity for our leisure, entertainment and cinema employees to continue to learn and explore new experiences in other parts of our business during this time. I am extremely proud of each one of them as they have shown a relentless desire to support their colleagues across the company and ensure our customers continue to have access to essential items.

“While our redeployment efforts come during unprecedented times, a recent World Economic Forum report suggested that by 2022, 54% of the total workforce in an organisation will require significant reskilling and upskilling. The current situation has accelerated the need for employees to stay competitive and will require companies to relook at how they utilise their talent.”

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Leslie Cabig, Customer Service Officer at VOX Cinemas checks orders at Carrefour fulfilment centre Image Credit: Supplied

The employees have been assigned to positions across the Carrefour business, including supermarkets, hypermarkets, darkstores, fulfilment centres, and distribution centres. Prior to starting their new roles, employees have completed on-the-job training as well as health and safety training, in line with additional precautions that have been put in place by Carrefour.

Nafie Hamed Ibrahim Ali, Customer Service Officer at VOX Cinemas said: “I have worked with Majid Al Futtaim for the past 9 years and I volunteered to join the programme, like many of my colleagues. It is a great opportunity for me, and I am proud that I can continue to be of service during such a challenging time. I am really looking forward to learning new skills, whilst supporting the wider business and catering to customers’ needs – I feel a part of something much bigger than myself.”