Vocational training leading directly to jobs in the open labour market
- Youth4Jobs Foundation
- Country of Implementation
- Asia & Pacific
- South Asia
- First published
“I was always rejected for employment as companies told me they had to make too many adjustments for me. Today I work for a major company that is so happy with my work that I have been promoted to supervisor.” Venaktesh, speech and hearing impaired
Some 70% of the Indian population live in rural areas, and persons with disabilities have no access to vocational training facilities. This results in higher levels of unemployment, higher incidences of poverty, and greater social exclusion when compared to the rest of the population. The situation is worse for girls and young women, who are kept hidden at home for fear that they will harm the reputation of the family.
Solution, Innovation and Impact
The project offers a 45-days vocational training for young men and women with speech, hearing, and vision disabilities between the ages of 18 and 20 living in rural areas. The curriculum offers basic modules on English, life skills, soft skills, and computer knowledge, as well as industry-specific modules depending on the requests of the participants and the availability of jobs. Training is followed by a traineeships and placements in organized sector jobs. If the supervisors are satisfied with the candidates’ performance, they are usually formally hired as regular full-time employees. During this period candidates also gain clarity of what kind of jobs they like and are suited for. The candidates are sent as trainees to companies such as McDonald`s Restaurants, Hyper City, and Samsung where they put into practice all that they learned in the training centre. This on-job training also gives the responsible managers a chance to observe the candidates, and understand the challenges and needs of people with disabilities first hand. The project works with these managers to identify ways to accommodate the candidate in the workplace.
Funding, Outlook and Transferability
The model is easily replicable and scalable with the potential for modification in various geographies. The project started with one training centre in Hyderabad, and after the template was finished 18 more centres were set up in other states. The key aspects of the project are (1) that it is process driven with customization as per the particular disability; and (2) that it includes robust training modules. In 2016 and 2017, the plan is to train another 4,000. Going forward, pilot vocational training centres are proposed for youth with mental disabilities. Customized solutions are now being offered to organizations such as Google, Ford, and Valeo to integrate young people with disabilities into their workforce.
THE STORY OF MEKALA TRINADH
“Now I will make my sister go back to college.”
Trinadh comes from an impoverished agricultural family in the East Godavari region of Andhra Pradesh, on the south-eastern coast of India. His life changed when, while waiting at a bus stop to go to school, a reckless driver ran over his leg. The leg was beyond saving and therefore had to be amputated. Thereafter, he struggled to secure employment owing to his perceived disability, even though he could speak and communicate well. Andhra always believed that despite being an amputee he was more than capable of holding a good job and earning a living. Reality, though, was not so kind. Despite being a graduate in B. Tech and being articulate, he was never given an opportunity to shine. Disheartened, Trinadh enrolled in a two-month skills development course sponsored by Youth4Jobs, where he was given an option to work in the retail sector. However, Trinadh did not want to let his skills go to waste, and thus he was determined to work in the IT sector. With the help of Youth4Jobs he soon got an interview with the famous game design company Electronic Arts Pvt. Ltd., based in Hyderabad. And through his own skills he succeeded in securing his employment, something that was previously considered virtually impossible. The thought of seeing their son working in a corporate setting with a good annual salary was beyond the dreams of his parents, who are poor wage labourers. Says Trinadh,”My father pulled my sister out of college and took a loan to educate me. Now I will make my sister go back to college.”