Demonstrating the value of training
Our early years building up Fair Employment Agency taught us so much. We met hundreds, thousands of workers to understand their migration journeys better. Soon, further questions about the devastating vulnerabilities faced by worker arose.
Migration is a big step for workers, and they need to be prepared with the skills and tools to help them be successful while working abroad. However, in reality, workers are huge sums of money (ranging from HK$1,200 – 15,000) for training that was not preparing them as professional workers.
30-40% of first-time domestic workers terminate their contracts within the first three months of employment in Hong Kong.
Only 6% of domestic workers were returning home feeling that they had enough saved. (‘Modern Slavery in East Asia,’ 2016, Farsight (p.42))
77% of domestic worker returnees re-migrate for work. (‘Modern Slavery in East Asia,’ 2016, Farsight (p.52))
domestic workers trained.
Worker turn-over rates reduced by 50%
We saw an opportunity to reinvent the training that domestic workers were receiving before they left the Philippines. Fair Training Center was accredited and opened in late 2016.
A key focus at Fair Training Center is professionalizing the approach to working abroad. By focusing on key elements of successful migration, our training improves results and reduces turnover rates.
The motto at Fair Training Center is: “It’s not just your job, it’s your life!” Trainees at Fair Training Center are prepared for the (hard) reality of life as a domestic worker and the change migration will bring to their lives and to the lives of their families.
The pillars of Fair Training Center's curriculum are:
Financial education: budgeting, saving and goal planning
Communication: Managing difficult situations, problem-solving and professional communication skills
Rights education: Understanding rights and entitlements. Directions to local service organisations
Psychosocial preparation: Dealing with homesickness, and managing family relationships
Adjusting to life abroad: culture, transport, lifestyle, etc.
Hard skills: cleaning, cooking, laundry, using appliances, etc
When they arrive at their destination country, they remain connected the the Fair Training Center community online where they have access to expertise and encouragement.
Training currently offered include:
Soft Skills Training for Overseas Filipino Workers
Safe Migration Orientation
Fair Training Center
Trainees stay connected to batchmates, and alumni on Facebooks moderated by Fair Training Center trainers. Article sharing, video chats and messages keep the community updated and informed.
Demonstrating the Value of Training
Current industry practices have devalued training but with small changes upfront, we can change workers' whole migration experience. With our first 500 trainees, we see that our training is working.
Most apparent is the personal transformation workers go through at Fair Training Center. They leave seeing themselves as professionals. Helping workers professionalize their approach to migration is key to helping them succeed abroad.
The early results of Fair Training Center's approach tell us such training is transformational. Termination rates are below our target of 15% in the first three months of a contract. Workers are having financial conversations with family members and following budgets. While savings are not as high as trainees planned at the Center, workers ARE saving. 84% of trainees report they are saving towards their goals while working abroad.
Fair Training Center now delivers pre-migration trainings for domestic workers deploying to multiple destinations, primarily to Hong Kong, Malaysia. Curriculums to prepare workers in other migrant work industries for successful migration have been developed.
Fair Training Center has also developed a Training of Trainers programme on Safe Migration for the Voice of the Free, a Philippine NGO, with which we aim to reach 15,000 beneficiaries. Fair Training Center was also invited by the Internationa Labour Organisation to be part of the Integrated Programme on Fair Recruitment (FAIR) – Phase II.
84% of Trainees are saving while abroad
Described as the gold standard for pre-migration training by International Labour Organisation Philippines