Connecting Futures on the border

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September - October 2012
Location: Mae Sot, Thailand

The Thailand-Myanmar border hosts a huge population of young Burmese migrants, left adrift after completing high school. Without recognizable certificates for either country, they are in great need of job-related skills and connections to local employers.

Youth Connect is a unique vocational-training program in Mae Sot, spending a minimum of 10 months on each student. This includes foundation & life skills training during the final year of high school, intensive job training, and a paid apprenticeship at a vetted local business, after which the apprenticeships have continuing career support.

This essay depicts new trainees in life skills classes and in practical job training at Youth Connect's social enterprises.