It is essential that we underpin new jobs in Myanmar with the skills that enable the people of Myanmar to make the most of these opportunities. The Suu Foundation is committed to building these skills especially in the more remote parts of the country, aware that in some areas the people are at risk of predation from people traffickers.
We are therefore delighted to be working with Capacity Development Myanmar and friends at the Suu Education Foundation to develop a group of vocational training schools in Mon State. These are providing training in English language, computer skills and tailoring to young people who are unable to secure employment otherwise.
Although Mon State is only 100 miles from Yangon, the State still bears the scars of civil war that ended less than a decade ago. The economy is small, with the majority of people supporting themselves through subsistence farming. The Suu Foundation’s vocational training programme provides hundreds of young people each year with the skills to qualify them for newly available jobs, and with that an opportunity to break out of a perpetual cycle of economic disadvantage.
The training is working: last year, the graduates from the tailoring training established a clothing company, and are already making items for a buyer in Yangon, as well as school uniform for hundreds of local pupils.
In late 2017, we ran a basic electrician training course for over 20 apprentices in Mawlamyaing, the capital of Mon State. The intensive course covered safety procedures, fitting installation techniques and using diagrams to construct circuits, and helped students attain Myanmar National Skill Standard Authority Level 1, meaning they can now work safely and earn a generous salary.