This project funds a community-based computer learning center that combines online with hands-on job training for disadvantaged rural youth in North Thailand. High drop out rates leave rural youth vulnerable to trafficking for jobs outside their rural agricultural communities. With core competencies in customer service, English and hospitality, students will meet the entry-level requirements of the major employers in the hospitality industry as it recovers from the COVID19 lockdown.
Prior to Covid-19, hospitality accounted for 17 percent of the Thai economy but could not fill 10,000 entry-level jobs a year. Thailand's recovery depends on hospitality rebounding fast. This, however, will require a much-improved recruitment and training pipeline. Ironically, even before Covid-19, Thailand's rural areas suffered high rates of youth unemployment because of a lack of access to skill training, while hospitality suffered from insufficient training capacity to meets its own needs.
What is required is a program designed specifically to meet hospitality's need for semi-trained entry-level staff with basic English competency. The program must be delivered locally, online, as poor youth cannot go to urban centers to study. We can leverage the existing online content developed by leading members of the hospitality industry and the facilities provided by Building Futures Thailand. An experienced teacher will support students with online learning and industry best practices.
The program can train 100 students a year for entry-level jobs. The hospitality industry has a new source of career candidates. Local communities benefit as the students are able to support their families. Building Futures Thailand is partnering with Warm Heart to expand our curriculum and capacity to implement the program. The program is replicable and can be expanded to other sub-districts and districts in Thailand and beyond.