REACH trains disadvantaged youth in 11 different vocational training fields, addressing market needs, and supports graduates to find jobs.
Ms Mai is just 1 story of a student of REACH.
Yes, I fulfill all of the eligibility criteria.
Initiative's representative name
Ms Tam, Pham Thi Thanh
Executive Director REACH
Initiative's representative date of birth
6th July 1976
Initiative’s representative gender
Which eligible market are you based in?
Where are you making a difference?
REACH Training centres are all over Vietnam in Hanoi, Hai Duong, Hue, Danang, Hoi An and HCMC.
Website or social media url(s)
When was your organisation founded?
Helping people adapt to technologies of the future
Reskilling and upskilling the workforce
Established (successfully passed early phases, have a plan for the future)
Yearly Budget: How much capital do you need to accomplish your proposed project?
$1mil - $5mil
It costs over 1,000,000 USD per year to run the program
1. Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the founder(s) to get started or the story of how you saw the potential for this to succeed
As the first Sales and Marketing trainer for the program under PLAN International I was there at the start of the project. It had grown over the 4 years I had been part of it and I believed I could take it forward to be it's own entity, I had and still do have a passion for development.
2. The problem: What problem surrounding employability or financial capability are you helping to solve?
In Vietnam, a combination of low education and skill levels, youth unemployment and under-employment, poverty and being part of groups such as street & migrant youth, youth living with disabilities, school dropouts, unemployed secondary school graduates and ethnic minorities. There is limited access to training to offer these young people economic opportunities for their future.
3. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.
REACH’s training model is to help these youth in Vietnam obtain and keep suitable employment by delivering a market-driven intensive vocational training and job placement program in 11 different areas for 3 or 6 months including food & beverage, sales & marketing, web & graphic design, housekeeping, spa services, cooking, 3D modelling.
REACH targets that at least 80% of its students to obtain and keep a job within 6 months of graduating,
at least 80% of graduates earn a salary above the minimum government standard and above their wage before entering the program and at least 80% of graduates reporting improved quality of life for themselves and their families.
REACH addresses the needs of its target group by also providing life skills education, English, work readiness training, individual counseling and mentoring that compliment technical training, instead of just offering pre-determined job skills. REACH has a rigorous selection process as all training is free.
4. How are you innovating or using unique approaches to solving the problem?
REACH’s training model is specifically designed to address the shortcomings of the current vocational training programs in Vietnam and meet the needs of employers by providing crucial life skills and soft skills training students need in the work place such as skills in teamwork, goal setting, basic financial literacy, maintaining self-esteem, positive attitudes and good work habits. Matching our training to industry needs regular market scans, job placement surveys and involving business in curriculum development. Providing work readiness training in the form of internships and onsite simulations, and guest lectures to prepare students for the demands of work. Finally by providing career advice, job placement and career coaching service
5. Employability: how is your organization or project teaching people to develop the skills that they need to survive in the future job market?
The REACH program uses a market driven process to ensure the students are trained in the most up to date skill set for the workplace. We speak with businesses who employ the students to ensure the skills we are giving them are the right skills to make them job ready. We are also open to new opportunities and are flexible with our training. We recently opened a new course in Video Editing as this was identified as new job area. In Hue we closed the Sales & Marketing course and opened a new cooking course as the demand was down for Sales & marketing and there were a lot of jobs available for Cooks. REACH is able to adapt to the market and ensure we have the right training to ensure jobs for our graduates.
5a. Please describe which future-oriented skills your organization is focused on fostering and how you have measured / plan to measure progress
IT skills are a big part of our training with 4 course available to students. Web coding, 3D Modelling, Graphic Design and Video Editing, we have discovered that there are a lot of opportunities for our students in these fields. We will continue to monitor and speak with business to ensure we are offering the most suitable courses to our students. The outcomes of our program which are monitored in our M&E process will also advise our decisions going forward.
6. Financial capability: how is your organization or project creating innovative solutions that arm people with ability to optimize their current and future financial health
Students in the program have been offered training as part of their life skills sessions in financial capability. Guest speakers from HSBC present to the students to support them.
The graduates are also followed up on by their teachers up to 6 months after their training to offer support as needed in their workplace and in general for their lives. REACH is always there for their Alumni.
6a. Please describe what aspect of financial capability your organization is focused on fostering and how you have measured / plan to measure progress.
To date REACH has relied heavily on donations and grants. There was the need identified to ensure sustainabilty of the organisation and this would not suffice in the future. There are a number of ways REACH is working on sustainability. Firstly 4 social enterprises have been set up in the past 1.5 years, the plan is for them to offer their profits back to the organisation to support the training. Secondly we are currently trialing a payment plan for students to pay back 30% of their training costs in small amounts once they are working. Thirdly we have set up for fundraising in Australia.
7. Marketplace: Who else is addressing the same problem? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?
KOTO is a training organisation in Vietnam also providing training to disadvantaged youth. KOTO provides training in 2 areas only - hospitality training in front of house and kitchen. Students study for 2 years and are provided with accommodation and a small stipend during their time. KOTO had 1,000 graduates over 20 years.
At REACH we provide training in 11 different areas and students study for 3-6 months giving them the opportunity to get trained as quickly as possible and be out to get jobs. Accommodation and a stipend are not provided. REACH has had over 17,000 graduates over 10 years
8. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?
17,134 graduates of the program (2004-2019)
93.9% of graduates were placed in jobs (2013-2019)
96.7% of graduates say they have a better quality of life following the program.
88.8% of graduates report their income has been improved following participation in the program.
9. Financial Sustainability Plan. Can you tell us about you plan to fund your project and how that plan will be sustainable in the short, medium, and long term?
Short term we need to continue to rely on grants and donations. We have a full time fundraiser and have a high ranking on Global Giving platform.
Medium term we have set up tax deductability status in Australia and hope to get regular funds through this. We will also still need to rely on donations.
Long term we are working on our sustainability plan which is the combination of social enterprise profits and cost recovery through student repayments.
All staff are full time: Executive Director, Chief Financial Officer, Center Managers, HR & Administration Manager, Finance Manager, Fundraising officer, training facilitators plus Support team. A Training needs analysis has been completed and areas of training have been identified. We will be offering training regularly to support the team. There need to be regular reviews of the team including a recent change of employing a Director of Social Enterprise to manage that arm of the business.
How did you hear about this challenge?