Vocational education is a term we use to refer to practical training that teaches our children technical skills for employment. Good technical skills give children the best chance of securing reliable jobs and so the Sisters of Mary programmes offer a range of technical classes for every child, in addition to their academic subjects.
The Sisters ensure that everything they teach is relevant and useful for immediate employment locally. They work closely with local employers to ensure the syllabus is kept up to date and ensure that the children are using the right technology to learn modern skills and gain practical experience for local roles and functions.
Every child has the opportunity to use their practical training by doing work experience with local employers (we call it on the job training (OJT)- or work immersion) in their final year of school. This OJT, gives them insight into the industries available to them and the experience they need to enter the working world once they finish school.
Children from our school go into roles in a vast array of sectors including medicine, technology, retail, hospitality, research and science, finance and manufacturing.
Having both practical and academic skills gives children the best possible chance of recruitment after school.
Some children choose to use their technical training to pursue a career or start their own business in a specific industry, like Jony.
Some children use the technical training as an entrance into the working world and then support themselves whilst continuing their studies to establish themselves in a career of their choosing. Ross, from the Philippines, used her technical training in sewing and tailoring to help support herself while she studied further. She is now in logistics management.
Each country of operation has a range of vocational education classes. Many courses are the same, though in particular countries, certain industries and companies provide specific employment opportunities with specific skillsets and training needed. For example, in the Philippines, there are many car manufacturers and so the children there learn skills like machining and automotive engineering to give them the skills needed to enter that industry.
All of the technical training is accredited by the education authorities of each government and every child leaves with certified qualifications to help them into employment after school.
Vocational training is continually evolving to support good recruitment but examples of the current training offered by our programmes are: bread and pastry making, electrical engineering, solar panel installation, sewing and tailoring, cooking, welding, machining, tool making, 3D design, technical drawing, engineering, automotive repair, jewellery making, mechatronics, computer hardware servicing, carpentry, dentistry, nursing.
In Tanzania, the Sisters saw a desperate need for support for out of school young women trapped in poverty. Many of these women are young mothers or have never been able to finish their secondary school. And so a training centre for these ladies was piloted in 2018 for just 20 ladies to learn sewing. The success of this, with employment and enterprises gained and created by the ladies, has given birth to the Kiluvya Training Centre which opened officially in 2022, with the first 100 women completing their course in mid 2022.
The training centre provides six month, VETA accredited training courses in: bread and pastry making, electrical and solar panel installation, sewing and tailoring, cooking and business administration courses to ladies aged 17-21. It equips the ladies for employment but also to set up their own enterprises in order to support their families.
In addition to this, the Training Centre has a nursery attached to it so that young mothers can have somewhere safe for their children to receive an early education whilst they train or work.
This centre provides invaluable technical education for women like Shamin.
Mt Iztaccíhuatl Expedition Updates
In December 2023, Enrique climbs Mt Iztaccíhuatl. You can read his updates on training and preparing for the expedition here
In September 2023, the UN reviewed its progress towards the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Over October, we reflected on how we work towards these goals within our programmes providing our children with the opportunities to escape from poverty and thrive.
Tanzania programme visit 2023
In September, Nicola and Carey from the World Villages team travelled to Tanzania for the inauguration of the new boys’ school in Dodoma. It will serve to educate some of the most impoverished boys in Tanzania.