Apprenticeship Program Drives Positive Change
In the past 20 years, Thailand has shown considerable economic growth and, according to the World Bank, has reduced the national unemployment rate from 21 percent to nearly 11 percent. However, many youth from poor communities still struggle to receive the comprehensive education and training they need to become successful members of the workforce. Enter Don Bosco Technical College (DBVT).
Since 1949, DBVT in Bangkok has been providing educational programs for underserved youth in order to prepare them for employment in areas and professions with local demand. In 2017, Salesian missionaries at the school joined forces with BMW Group Thailand to launch a service apprenticeship program to train students in automotive repair skills that meet international standards in the field. Fourteen students participated in the inaugural course.
“Our missionaries know the local economy and develop strategic partnerships to help educate poor youth in high-demand jobs,” says Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions. “Salesian-run programs help provide youth with the technical education needed to find and retain long-term employment to help them break the cycle of poverty, as well as contribute back to their families and communities.”
The apprenticeship is led by BMW-certified technicians, and includes full scholarships funded by the company for participating youth. Students receive technical education through on-site tutoring at the BMW Training Center. Upon graduation, students have the opportunity to enter a probationary work period at BMW.
Since the inception of the partnership, the program has grown considerably. And fortunately, all 2020 graduates have accepted full-time employment offers from BMW!
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