Vietnam disadvantaged youth gets free vocational training

On August 15th, in Hanoi, 43 underprivileged youth from more than 20 provinces nationwide officially started the free 6-month vocational training program at five-star hotels within the framework of the program Youth Career Initiative (YCI) organised by REACH and 5-star hotels.

(VNF) - On August 15th, in Hanoi, 43 underprivileged youth from more than 20 provinces nationwide officially started the free 6-month vocational training program at five-star hotels within the framework of the program Youth Career Initiative (YCI) organised by REACH and 5-star hotels.

Vietnam disadvantaged youth gets free vocational training

43 students at the opening of the 2017 Youth Career Initiative (YCI).

Understanding and companion

YCI is an international employability programme for young people who are unlikely to have a viable route into legitimate employment or be able to improve their situation without external help, currently deploying in 19 countries worldwide, included Vietnam. REACH coordinates with five-star hotels in Hanoi including Sheraton Hanoi Hotel, Hilton Hanoi Opera, Hilton Garden Inn, JW Marriott and InterContinental Westlake Hanoi, pledged financial support so that trainees could receive free training.

The programme which combines hands-on experience in a variety of hotel departments with classroom training to the disadvantaged young people learn key skills, building their confidence, and taking the first step in their career.

Sharing the difficulties and challenges of organising the course, Ngoc Hang, training and enterprise network manager of REACH, said that because disadvantaged youth from different regions, ethnic minorities or mountainous provinces are less likely to have access to the mass media, so they do not have information about the REACH program.

Vietnam disadvantaged youth gets free vocational training

Ngoc Hang, training and enterprise network manager of REACH and Can Xuan Cong, a student of the program.

In addition, managing and paying attention to each trainee is also a big challenge. There are cases that students cannot continue to attend the course for various reasons. In each case, REACH will provide appropriate support and the best conditions for the trainees.

After four successfully organised courses in Hanoi, YCI has trained over 120 students, of which nearly 90 per cent are working in hotels and restaurants in provinces and cities across the country. Following these successes, from the 5th course in 2017, YCI will expand the program to Ho Chi Minh City, with four major hotels participating and promising many opportunities for young people who come to the program. In addition, REACH continues to support and provide employment counseling to graduates within 6 months of graduation to ensure they find sustainable jobs.

Desire to overcome fate

Every student coming to YCI has different backgrounds. Talking about his journey before coming to REACH and YCI program, Vang A Danh shared that he was born and grew up in a ethnic minorities family of four in Tram Tau district, Yen Bai Province. It is obvious that when his family has financial problem, he and the others are prohibited from going to school. The costs for continuing education usually are painful punishments and stingy ear pulling. May times he has to go to school with a empty stomach and sometimes the hunger may become so intense that he has to take a day off.

Vietnam disadvantaged youth gets free vocational training

Vang A Dan - student of YIC’s 5th course speaking at the opening ceremony.

Then suddenly on the last day of his fourth grade, due to family conflict his father committed suicide by eating poison leaves.

“It was a great shock, an indescribable pain and misfortune for me. My family’s financial situation was even worse than before”. In 12th grade, having no opportunities to continue higher education, he decided to work to support his elderly mother and raise two nephews.

“But I feel that with just two empty hands and no professional skills, I cannot able to find a stable job.”

I learned about vocational training for the poor and learned about REACH. Then I was accepted by REACH and JW Marriott hotel. Denh shared that he wish he would have the opportunity to study and find a stable job, be able to support himself and help his family.

“Joining YCI is a great opportunity for me to fullfill my dreams,” he said.

Not only him but also many other students have been experiencing many hardships in life: either fatherless or parentless, having parents with disabilities unable to put their children in school or coming from remote and poor areas. Can Xuan Cong, 19, was a child of mentally ill parents, since childhood he had to make a living for himself.

“I feel lucky to receive the support from the Aspiration Fund and being referred to REACH. Recently I have been admitted to the training programme at JW Marriott Hotel where I will be taught English, life skills and career development” Cong happily said.

All success starts with the best effort

Nguyen Minh Phuc, a trainee of the first course and currently working as an assistant cook at the Hilton Hanoi Opera Hotel, said the during the course, he encountered many difficulties. “For example, I have to make use of the kitchen utensils that I have not seen before. Moreover, I must learn to communicate in an English speaking environment. But I have overcome all thanks to the enthusiastic support from the REACH center and Hilton Hanoi Opera.”

Phuc will continue to study intensive courses to improve his professional skills. The Hilton Hanoi Opera Hotel also has plans to train and help Phuc to further improve his knowledge and skills.

Vietnam disadvantaged youth gets free vocational training

Thu Thuy and her students, Nguyen Minh Phuc.

As a person who directly teaches and follows Phuc, Thu Thuy is currently an Executive Sous Chef managing the main kitchen and head of training department at the Hilton Hanoi Opera Hotel.

“So far, Phuc has been working at the Hilton Hanoi Opera for three years, and he is selected as one of the most outstanding of YCI's students in the Asia Pacific region of the Hilton Hotels Corporation."

Thu Thuy proudly shared that after four years with YCI, now one-third of graduates are working at the Hilton Hanoi Opera - the highest proportion among the participating hotels.

She expressed her satisfaction that the students of the third course were hardworking and willing to learn through advises from mentors so they could develop the skills they needed to stand on their own two feet.

Trainees are gradually growing up and on their way to building a career and a promising future for themselves.

“Hopefully with the determination, a positive attitude at work, professional skills and a good personality, the trainees will make the most of this chance to develop their skills, and themselves, to show build a path towards a better future and to become the pride of REACH, YCI and hotels"./.

YCI, the International Tourism Partnerships’ (ITP) youth employability programme, is a 24-week education program that provides disadvantaged young people with life and work skills.

It was a fantastic event with representatives from a number of important partners present, who will provide training to disadvantaged youth from a variety of backgrounds, in addition to providing important life skills and soft skills training before students work onsite as hotel staff for six months.

Translated by Chau Pham

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