Growing interest in mobile phone repair profession in Ras al-Ain

Youngsters in Ras al-Ain head to phone repair courses to secure employment opportunities - April 3, 2024 (Enab Baladi)

Youngsters in Ras al-Ain head to phone repair courses to secure employment opportunities - April 3, 2024 (Enab Baladi)

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Enab Baladi – Ras al-Ain

The city of Ras al-Ain, northwest of al-Hasakah, is witnessing an influx of young people eager to learn mobile phone repair, amidst a dearth of job opportunities for several reasons, including the region’s primary reliance on agriculture, the weakened activity of organizations, and the local authorities’ inability to provide job opportunities for the unemployed in the area.

The enthusiasm for the profession is driven by the preference to repair phones rather than purchase new devices in the region, which has a population of about 115,000. Additionally, the trade of buying and selling phones is sluggish.

Daily wages in Ras al-Ain range between 30,000 and 40,000 Syrian pounds (approximately two and a half US dollars), varying according to the number of work hours and the type of profession, whether agricultural or construction-based.

A profession with good returns

Given the scarcity of job opportunities and the limited geographical area of Ras al-Ain, residents find themselves in need of alternative income sources, and the phone repair profession has emerged as an option to secure employment and to improve their financial status.

The methods of learning repair vary between paid and free courses, including one offered by the Directorate of Sports and Youth in Ras al-Ain.

Mustafa Alloush, a resident of Ras al-Ain, recently enrolled in a free repair course. He told Enab Baladi that his goal is to secure work that provides a steady income. He mentioned that after he finishes, he plans to work at his cousin’s shop for a certain percentage without the initial costs of opening his own.

He explained that he had previously enrolled in several specialized courses at phone repair shops, costing 120 US dollars for a two-month course. However, he had to stop due to his inability to complete the payments.

Firas al-Hussein (27 years old), on the other hand, works in the field of buying and selling phones but decided to undergo a repair course due to the market’s stagnation. He adds that his shop needs a maintenance technician, which increases his costs and reduces his profit margins if he contracts a repair and maintenance technician.

High costs to start own business

Despite the financial viability of the phone repair profession, opening dedicated shops requires capital, and thus, some individuals who have acquired these skills choose to work for owners of phone stores, or they resort to borrowing.

Osama Eidu resides in the village of al-Hawish, which is 40 kilometers south of Ras al-Ain. He said that most of the villagers go to Ras al-Ain for phone maintenance, which he sees as an opportunity for him, and so he decided to enroll in a four-month repair course at a local phone shop.

He added to Enab Baladi that the income from phone maintenance is good, though initially costly, as it requires purchasing special equipment. The costs vary depending on the equipment’s modernity and the person’s desire to expand their scope of work. Osama spent 5,000 US dollars to open his shop and purchase equipment in al-Hawish.

He mentioned that he opened his shop through one of his relatives who took care of the equipment and shop rent until he could work and repay his debts.

Murai Haloum, who is still undergoing a repair course, said that he does not possess the financial means to open or even rent a shop. The shop rent in the main market reaches 150 US dollars, not including the necessary equipment setup.

He clarified to Enab Baladi that after completing the course, he would work for the owners of maintenance shops until his situation improved, and then he would open his own shop.

Increasing demand for maintenance

Riad Hayawi, the head of the phone maintenance department at the Directorate of Sports and Youth in Ras al-Ain, told Enab Baladi that the phone repair profession has become a necessity due to the widespread use of devices among various age groups.

He explained that the directorate launched a free course that is still ongoing, with the primary objective of empowering youth and providing job opportunities, noting that it will continue until the participants reach a level of professionalism.

He mentioned that one of the reasons for the surge in maintenance demand is the frequent phone malfunctions due to the variety of devices, different manufacturing companies, and sudden power outages.

Residents of Ras al-Ain are searching for job opportunities that can be a stable source of income alongside their primary reliance on agriculture.

In a previous report prepared by Enab Baladi, phone shop owners complained of sluggish sales and purchasing activity, despite reducing device prices by 30 to 40%, which did not boost the market. Meanwhile, residents are more inclined to maintain their devices.

 

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