Vocational Training Programs

Symbiosis regularly provides training to group members on various ways of establishing, managing and expanding small business opportunities which are present in their local villages. From purchasing cows, rickshaws or sewing machines to setting up small grocery stores, group members identify ways in which they could earn an extra income or improve their practices to maximize the benefit from farming or raising livestock.

For many years, Symbiosis Vocational Training was primarily aimed at rural communities, but now, realizing that many young people from rural areas are being forced to move to towns and cities looking for employment, Symbiosis is providing practical training in work skills that are needed in modern cities.  Students can learn about computers, hairdressing, driving and auto maintenance, and improve their English language skills.

In particular, these courses are aimed at helping those from the poorer communities who, for economic reasons, have not been able to reach a high enough standard of education to join other government or private training institutions.

Currently Symbiosis offers the following training programs:

  • Sewing
  • Hairdressing
  • Education Plus
  • Driving Training
  • English Classes
  • Rural Income Generation Demonstration Farm which includes three fish ponds, a cow-shed dairy that produces milk for sale and a vegetable garden that produces a range of vegetables.  They have accommodation for visiting students and regularly run short training courses on site.

VocationalKhatunAngura's Story

For the Khatun family, keeping food on the table is an expense which is only just manageable on the small income of a rural Bangladeshi farmer. While Mrs. Angura Khatun is grateful for this small mercy, she has recently begun to worry that they will not be able to continue to afford to send their children - two sons and one daughter – to school. Without an education, her children have limited opportunities for building a better future for themselves.

Angura heard about the Savings Groups established by Symbiosis Bangladesh, and joined one in her village. Over time, she and the other group members have gradually contributed savings into their bank account whilst learning about ways they could start small businesses to improve their lives. Angura  received training from the Rural Income Generation Project on significant improvements that could be gained from using better local agricultural practices to look after cows.

With 10,500BDT ($AU150) of their own savings and a loan of 5000BDT ($AU70) from the Savings Group, Angura and her husband bought a milking cow. With good care, the cow is now producing enough milk daily to provide nutrition for the family and to sell in the market. Angura is able to repay her loan and pay for her children’s education. Her future hope is to breed her cow and develop a mini-dairy farm. She is grateful to the Rural Income Generation Project for inspiring and encouraging her in her success.