First skills training classroom already built
Building of our skills training centre for Burmese migrant workers in Mae Sot is well underway. The first classroom has been built and training has already begun.
Just before Christmas UnionAID received the exciting news that funding for the occupational training centre has been granted under the government’s new Sustainable Development Fund. This will enable us to proceed with phase 2 of the project in March.
By mid year the project buildings will include two classroom/workshops, an office, and accommodation for both staff and trainees.
With our total funding of $NZ56,000, our project partner, the Federation of Trade Unions of Burma (FTUB) will build the complex of buildings, pay three staff, and provide food and accommodation for the staff and 350 trainees for a full year.
These trainees are mainly young Burmese migrant women who will learn industrial knitting and sewing and will move on to work in the hundreds of clothing factories which have been established along the Thai-Burma border to take advantage of the cheap labour.
While many of these factories are sweatshops, the FTUB see this employment as a far better option than being forced into prostitution in Bangkok or trafficked off to other Asian cities.
The other part of the UnionAID –FTUB project is organising to improve working conditions in the factories.