Although Thailand enjoys a low unemployment rate of 1-2%, this masks underlying problems in underemployment and high youth unemployment. As of 2017, youth unemployment rates in Thailand reached 5.2% in large part due to skills mismatches between workforce needs and youth capabilities, as there is a shortage of youth workers with key 21st century skills. Youth (aged 17-24) unemployment is especially pronounced for young women, particularly single mothers who generally lack 21st century skills. As with most countries, women earn less than men overall, with single mothers earning even less while finding it harder to secure work. Single mothers also face a disproportionate burden in paying for the expenses of raising children, thus continuing the cycle of poverty.
The project will build the 21st century and employability skills of single mothers to empower them to secure employment, increase their income, and set them on track for more career opportunities, thereby breaking the cycle of poverty and enabling the women and their children to have a better future. The project will achieve its goal by building the capacity of young single mothers on a range of in-demand soft skills as well as raise awareness for effective anti-sexual harassment strategies.
Kenan will conduct two capacity-building workshops (totaling four days and 25 hours per workshop) on employment readiness skills. Through the training, young single mothers will develop key 21st century skills (critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity) and workplace skills (ethics and accountability). Furthermore, Kenan will collaborate with the Ministry of Labour and businesses to create a job placement program for participants. Finally, Kenan and its partners will educate the participants on how to effectively apply for a job and secure employment.
The project will build the employability skills of 125 single mothers from low-income households in the Bangkok area to enable them to secure jobs and increase their income. As a result, Kenan expects participants to increase their knowledge of 21st century skills, workplace skills, and anti-sexual harassment strategies as well as have greater confidence in seeking employment. In addition, 50 single mothers will gain full-time employment or see an increase in their monthly salary within the program period. In the long-term, the women will acquire the skills and confidence needed to secure and maintain a quality job and build a better future for themselves and their children.