© Helvetas / Flurina Rothenberger

Well Equipped for the Working World

© Helvetas / Flurina Rothenberger

Helvetas promotes vocational education for teenagers and young adults in short pragmatic training courses. The training institutions are increasingly paid for results: their fees are not paid in full unless and until the trainees have found their feet in the working world.

  • Project Name
    Skills for Employment (phase 1-2018 to 2021; phase 2-2022 to 2025)
  • Project Phase
    2018 to 2025
  • Funding
    Donations, contributions, SDC programme contribution
  • Thematic focus
    Skills, Jobs and Income

About the project

Building up on the experience of the Skills for Rural Livelihood Development (S4RLD) project in the Magway region, Helvetas started a new labor market oriented vocational skills project (S4E, 2018 - 2021). This phase I of the project developed based on market needs five professions: Motorcycle Repair, Hair and Facial Treatment, Barber, Female Fashion Tailoring and Bricklaying. The curricula and training material for these professions were developed together with the Myanmar Private TVET Association (MPTA) in close cooperation with the private sector. The phase I introduced a number of innovative approaches in Magway, such as a dual training approach / Worked based learning, a Results based financing (RBF) mechanism and digital learning. Systematically conducted Tracer Studies confirm the effectiveness of these approaches. The figures of the latest Study show that more than 85% of the trainees were employed or self-employed six months after graduation (see Figure 1). The project was also successful in mobilizing additional funds: the City of Zurich supports further scaling and improving sustainability of the project and the Swiss Solidarity Innovation Fund supported Covid-19 response measures and digitalization of training courses.

The second phase (2022 – 2025) of the S4E project suggests keeping the focus on demand driven skills development and further strengthen already existing involvement of the private sector. Two recent crises (Covid-19 and change of power) challenge the implementation of the S4E project, but still skills development remains crucial in a politically and economic deteriorating context. Employment opportunities build perspectives for youth and access to skilled workforce is needed for rebuilding economies after crises. The aspirations of the S4E project are to keep high quality standards and market orientation of approaches to ensure high employment rates even in difficult situations. Thanks to a strong private sector orientation and adaptation of existing approaches, Helvetas managed to continue project activities.

«When I was 10 years old, I had to leave school and worked as a housekeeper. Because of my passion for sewing, I applied for a training, was selected and started a sewing course. Thanks to the training, I am now an independent woman. I love my job and I am much happier than before.»

Ma Thanda Pearl Shwe (21), Magwe Town

S4E phase II aims at supporting employment of young women and men in the Magway region in Myanmar through improved skills development measures and private sector development. The goal is an increased income of youth and disadvantaged groups, which can be achieved either through wage- or self-employment. A special focus lies in applying and scaling innovative approaches, such as digital learning, Results Based Financing and Worked Based learning. The following figure illustrates the description of results planned for the second phase of the project.

Results overview of the S4E phase 2
© Nyein Nyein Ei
«Some customers are suspicious about my skills and hesitant to receive services from me as they thought a woman cannot be a mechanic. I turned these challenges into motivation. Finally they get satisfied and convinced!»

Khaing (16), Swe Kyoe Village, Magwe Region

© Ei Ei Lwin
«I’m very thankful to HELVETAS. I get many benefits from the collaboration with the S4E project. I get not only training fees from giving a basic training arranged by the project but a chance to network with others as well as many skills like pedagogy, business and time management. Because of the project, I have become a professional business owner and have built up good relationship with other beauticians and stakeholders whom I had once thought as rivals.»

Thandar Myo Lwin, owner of THANDAR beauty salons (one of the  Employer-Trainers)

Learn more about our work

How Helvetas Supports People in Myanmar

Learn how the rural communities in Myanmar improve their income and strengthen civil society in its new role.

Education and Vocational Skills

Lack of education perpetuates inequality because poor countries cannot compete economically without a skilled workforce.

Private Sector Development

Youth need access to reliable, fairly paid jobs to break the cycle of poverty. Helvetas creates partnerships and promotes policies that build more inclusive economies.