The goal of the project "Linking Labutta to Markets" (LLM) is to improve the performance of smallholder farmers in the rice value chain and to provide diverse off-farm employment and economic opportunities for landless and vulnerable women and men.
Swisscontact implemented the project under Component 2: Landless and vulnerable women and men have stability of income from diverse off-farm employment and economic opportunities. LLM Component 2 targets youth in landless households and aims to increase their income through vocational training and employment.
The sectors identified and supported are Industrial Garment, Hospitality/Hotel, Farm Machinery Mechanics and Construction (Mason/ Carpentry). Training courses for two skill areas (Garment and Hotel) have since inception included on-the-job training in collaboration with the Myanmar Garment Association and Swisscontact’s Hotel Training Initiative (HTI) component under the Vocational Skills Development Program.
The approach taken includes identifying sectors with potential for employment of young people from landless and vulnerable households in Labutta villages; to develop appropriate training programmes for the sectors and to support graduates to find employment through migration to cities or locally, and when relevant to support the start-up of business (self-employment) in their villages. In addition, the project works to institutionalize the provision of quality skill development that is suited to market demands at the local level by strengthening the capacity of local training centres run by local civil society organizations (CSOs) and government schools focusing on skill development.
LLM aimed to support a small number of vulnerable smallholder farmers to ‘step-out’ of agriculture into more productive non-farm activities. LLM draws on Swisscontact’s experience in skill development and employment and takes an intensive approach, focusing on skills and apprenticeships, to increase employment opportunities based on market-demand.
The project has extended its outreach to strengthen the capacity of the government-run Labutta Mechanical Training School, working to expand the Farm Machinery Mechanics and Construction occupational areas to include industry-based trainings as part of the curricula and post-graduation services.