Ms Phan Thi Thanh Tam, Executive Director of REACH, Vietnam, was invited to attend an Economic Inclusion Series, entitled “Social Mobility for Youth: Escaping Poverty in Developing Asia” on 27th April 2017, organized by MetLife Foundation and the Asia Society Hong Kong Centre. Gritt Richter, EMpower Senior Program Officer for E/SE Asia, Maddy Foo and Aleem Jivraj, EMpower Board Directors were in attendance.
REACH is a Vietnamese NGO founded in 2004 in Hanoi specializing in providing vocational training, career advice and job placement services for Vietnam’s most at-risk youth (ages 16-25 years old). Ms. Pham Thi Thanh Tam has been involved with REACH since 2004. With extensive experience in training and education of at-risk youth as well as in management, she has successfully shaped the growth of REACH.
At the forum, Tam spoke about the many challenges at-risk young people face in Vietnam to find decent employment and the approach of REACH in partnering closely with the private sector, as well as offering young people strong job placement support and mentoring once in a job. The topic generated significant discussion from the panel and audience. The inclusion of soft skills, such as communication and teamwork skills, knowing rights or the skills to protect one’s health, are essential to the success of REACH’s graduates, with over 80% in a stable job 6 months after their training.
The inclusion of soft skills, such as communication and teamwork skills, knowing rights or the skills to protect one’s health, are essential to the success of REACH’s graduates, with over 80% in a stable job 6 months after their training.
Through EMpower, REACH plans to set up a social enterprise that offers Japanese lunch box delivery service to increase the social impact of the vocational training offered for at-risk youth. The initiative aims to strengthen REACH’s vocational training program by linking classroom training to practical experience, as well as increase financial sustainability. Working with Japanese chefs and students, REACH has developed three lunch boxes for every weekday to offer different flavors and price ranges. The first orders have been encouraging and the students are excited about this new venture! Learn more about REACH’s programs, including training in Food and Beverage, Cooking, Web and Graphic Design and more HERE.
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