Taipei, May. 13 (CNA) More than 60 migrant workers joined a program in Taipei Sunday that offers vocational training in making Taiwanese trademark dishes and drinks such as beef noodles and bubble tea, to help them prepare for life after they return to their home countries.
The program, titled the Global Workers' Upskill Center program, is now in its second year. In its first year, it offered baking and e-commerce courses. This year, the program has expanded to cooking and hairdressing.
Karen Hsu (徐瑞希), secretary-general of the Global Workers' Organization in Taiwan, the chief organizer of the program, told CNA that the initiative is designed to help migrant workers expand their skill sets.
According to Hsu, Taiwanese companies are keen to expand their business in Association of Southeast Asian Nation countries but they lack talent that has both Taiwanese experience while at the same time a deep knowledge of local markets.
Meanwhile, migrant workers are also in desperate need of learning new skills to prepare for life after they have concluded their work in Taiwan, Hsu said.
Offering these courses will help migrant workers to start micro businesses, or partner with Taiwanese businesses in their home countries following their return home, according to Hsu.
Hsing Wen-fei (邢文斐), principal of Kainan High School of Commerce and Industry, which offers teachers and facilities for the program, said the project, sponsored by the Indonesian representative office in Taiwan, started with Indonesian migrant workers only.
Having achieved success in its first year, Hsing said that this year's program has expanded to workers from the Philippines and Vietnam.
The program originally offered 10-week courses, but as some employers would not allow their workers to attend such a long program, they decided this year to condense the course into three-and-a-half days, held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays, according to Hsing.
Danesia Abanes from the Philippines said she joined the course to learn more about Taiwanese trademark drinks.
In three or fours years, after she finishes her job in Taiwan, Abanes said she plans to go back to the Philippines and open a Taiwan drinks shop.
Li Shi Qiong Zhi (黎氏瓊枝) from Vietnam, meanwhile, said she loves Taiwanese bubble milk tea and wanted to learn how to make the drink.
Jack Chang (張增鵬), the instructor of the bubble tea course, said he was deeply touched by their enthusiasm, which he said shows they are really eager to learn about making the drinks.