Community taught to tap into overlooked workers
In Kazakhstan men remain the breadwinners in most families; however, with rising unemployment rates many women are looking to find ways to contribute to their family incomes to help make ends meet. Unfortunately, most of these women quickly find that limited skills and lack of education hinder them more than a sagging economy or social expectations.
Recognizing that even in a tight job market most communities have an ongoing demand for quality housekeepers, babysitters, cooks and gardeners, the University of International Business Enactus team saw a way to bridge the need for services with the need for jobs. By identifying the desired tasks and developing related skills training, unemployed women would have better chances at gaining sustainable incomes. With one effort, the team saw they could recruit, educate and place individuals in jobs, all in a strategic and organized manner that would be a win for employee and employer at the same time.
To solve the women’s employment dilemmas and to help the community tap into this often overlooked supply of workers and talent, the team developed a direct job placement program. The team designed the program to help participants prepare for, find and keep jobs. They worked to with area women and identified needed training to achieve employment (in general, topics focused on first aid, early childhood development, modern household appliances and housekeeping). Once the initial training was complete, the women were connected to families or businesses with those specific job opportunities. Simply put, through training and support, the program matches clients and jobs.
Thanks to the “Home Staff” project, 52 women are now employed as babysitters, governesses and housekeepers, and most are making an average $400 a month. One beneficiary commented, “My income after participating in the project has grown so much that now I can pay for my daughter’s college. It changed our life.” Due to its success, this new recruitment program is expanding its job listings and is now also working with disabled individuals in need of employment opportunities.