There are many young people leaving college and university in India with good academic qualifications but, because they have no other skills, they have great difficulty in getting a job and may face the prospect of undertaking unskilled work – if it can be found – such as labouring or becoming a porter. Such jobs are poorly paid and can be injurious to health. For girls, especially, there are few opportunities.
The Trust is helping a number of young people acquire vocational skills which hopefully will allow them to avoid this situation in the future. We sponsor young adults through vocational training courses in hospitality and nursing so that they are in the best possible position to find gainful employment upon graduation.
Concentrating first on the young people in the girls’ and boys’ orphanages, the project started in March 2010 and as well as young people currently in training we are now pleased to have a number of ‘graduates’, who are earning a living and supporting their families in careers which they could never have accessed without the help of our supporters.
We have sponsored a number of young men and woman to undertake training in the hospitality industry. They complete an 18 month course in Hotel Management, and then undergo 6 months of practical training in hotels around Darjeeling, or even further afield. The training is delivered by the Food Craft Institute in Darjeeling, with whom we have established a strong partnership.
To date a total of 26 young people have been supported by the Trust to undertake the government approved hotel management course at Darjeeling’s Food & Craft Institute. All the students came from families who could not support them financially to do the course and when they were accepted by DCT, all had fairly low expectations with limited hopes for the future. It is heartening to see them win good employment in hotels in Darjeeling, elsewhere in India or even further afield.
The latest group of six young people (five young men and one young woman) joined the FCI course in mid July 2014 and will remain at college until mid 2015, after which they will do their practical training in hotel placements arranged by their tutor.