Partnership for Change has, in collaboration with local tourism authorities in the Inle region and Luxembourg Development (LuxDev), established a vocational school focusing on providing students with skills demanded in the local tourism and services sector.
Inle Lake is one of Myanmar’s most visited tourism destinations. However, while hotels and other tourism-related businesses struggle to recruit qualified employees, youth unemployment in the region remains high. This paradox is reinforced by the fact that tourism and services probably are the easiest sectors in which to get a job and make a decent living even without higher education.
The vocational school Nyaung Shwe Hospitality Certificate (NHC) located by Inle Lake provides vocational training for local youth who wishes to qualify for a job in tourism and services. The school was established following a request from the Union Minister of Hotels and Tourism (MoHT), and is run as a partnership between PfC and LuxDev, in close collaboration with MoHT.
NHC provides marginalised youth from the Inle region with a nine-month training programme. Women and youth from lower socioeconomic strata and lack of formal education are prioritised. The idea is to offer local youth who are not qualified for higher education, a shorter training programme tailormade for jobs in housekeeping, restaurant service, food and beverage production, and front desk. The programme provides basic training in social and professional skills necessary to succeed in their future jobs. The students do a three-month apprenticeship with relevant local businesses. Currently, NHC offers training to 50 students annually.
The main objective of this project is not training as such, but sustainable employment for the students who complete the programme. Therefore, NHC has a close collaboration with the local private sector to ensure that the training is relevant to their needs. For instance, the school engages representatives from the local tourism sector as guest lecturers at the school. The curriculum is developed in line with ASEAN-standards and is approved by MoHT. Hence, students upon completing the programme receive a recognised certificate, increasing their opportunities in the local job market.