The majority of Vietnamese youth 15-29 are working and unemployment (2.8%, ILO 2013) is low compared to other countries in the region. Yet, the recent economic slowdown has resulted in over 75% of youth in informal employment and nearly 40% of youth self-employed or working as family workers with meagre income, poor working conditions and no social protection. According to REACH, youth unemployment is likely to get more serious with 1.5-1.6 million youth reaching working age every year and less than 15% having received technical training. Currently there is severe competition in finding suitable job opportunities.
REACH is a Vietnamese NGO specialized in providing vocational training, career advice and job placement services for Vietnam’s most at-risk youth (ages 16-25 years). REACH started in 2004 in Hanoi as the Livelihood Advancement Business School (LABS), a project of Plan in Vietnam. In 2008, Plan supported LABS to become the independent local NGO REACH. Since 2004, REACH has opened centres in other regions of Vietnam and in 2018, operates 6: Hanoi, Hai Duong, Hue, Da Nang, Hoi An and Ho Chi Minh City. The NGO offers short-term (3 or 6 months), market-oriented training, including in soft skills that youth need in their workplace. It also supports youth to find a job and settle into it. REACH provides access to free vocational training and job placement in: Food and Beverage, Cooking, Sales and Marketing, Web and Graphic Design, Housekeeping, Beauty Spa & Make-up, Hairdressing, 3D Modelling and Coding. Since 2007, REACH actively engages with its alumni and established a REACH Alumni club. The Executive Director of REACH is Ms. Pham Thi Thanh Tam, who has been involved since 2004. With extensive experience in training and education of at-risk youth as well as in project and staff management, she has successfully shaped the growth of REACH. REACH operates two programs: 1. REACH NGO offering vocational training for disadvantaged young people, which is complemented for a relatively short period of time by 2. REACH SE, the social enterprise arm. The latter started off with the setting up of a Bento delivery service (KOI Bento; Japanese lunch boxes and catering; www.koibento.com.vn) since March 2016, with the financial and technical support of EMpower, amongst others. At the end of 2016, REACH SE was enlarged with the opening of a hair salon in Hanoi (Em Hair Salon), and plans to inaugurate a Vietnamese restaurant in Hue around May 2018 (TRE Restaurant) for which REACH SE is supported with 30% seed funding from Plan International Germany.
EMpower’s 2nd grant will support REACH to grow the KOI Bento business (Japanese lunch boxes) from a delivery service only to offering additionally catering services, and will allow more students to benefit from the training in Japanese cuisine and the general business experience. Our funds will also directly train 26 students in 7 different vocations (Sales & Marketing, F&B, Web and Graphic Design, Hairdressing, 3D Modelling, Cooking, Coding, Hospitality) and link them to decent employment in the formal economy.
Primary Location: Hanoi
Funded Since: 2016
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