"All in all," Azzeddine recalls, "this training taught me what it meant to be responsible…What it is to know you can rely on your own skills, when you’re on the field, alone in front of a broken machine – and when, next to you, there are trucks waiting, and when, next to them, there are bosses waiting too," he adds with a chuckle.
The programme also closely collaborates with the private sector to multiply in-training internship opportunities for its recruits. It was in this context that Azzeddine was able to land an internship at a major heavy-duty machinery maintenance workshop, in Casablanca, where his diligence and technical knowledge were quick to impress his supervisors.
"He’s a true, superior maintenance technician," his current supervisor, Martinez Molina of SMT Group, is quick to note. "A rare find, one that not only does his job well but seeks time to help others out – in other words, a real model for everyone."
When his internship ended, they asked him to leave his CV – and when, some six months later, his training came to an end, with him earning some of the best grades of his class, he was immediately offered a job, as a maintenance technician.
Azzeddine remembers his time at the Academy fondly. "It’s always a good thing", he says, "when you get to learn a lot among a lot of great people." His company recommended him to one of their biggest clients in Nador, to represent them and be a lead technician at the Harrcha quarry, where he is now based. Having proven his worth to his employer, he has now a stable job in a stimulating work environment, with a competitive salary and promising career perspectives – which, after years of uncertainty, changes everything.
More importantly, the training programme gave him the push he needed, the confidence and know-how to make a career out of something he truly loved – and one that allowed him to provide for his family, back in Khouribga.
"I get back down there to see them whenever I’m on leave," he confides, his face lighting up with a candid smile whenever his daughters are mentioned. "This summer they’ll all be coming to see me, and I can’t wait."
More than 150 students have been able to attend the AGEVEC programme since its inception – the project now aims at offering the same services to aspiring heavy-duty machinery operators, and crane operators.
"I didn’t know where I was going, and this programme helped me get back on track," Azzeddine says. "Now if you’ll excuse me," he adds gently while reaching for his toolbox, "here’s a machine that needs some fixing."