Mai Chau district, which is aiming to turn itself into a key tourism site of Hoa Binh province, has provided training courses in non-agricultural sectors for rural workers. This is a bold step to help local people shift to more suitable employment so as to improve incomes.

 Trainees of tour guide training course go on a field trip at a local market in 2023.

Ha Quynh Chi, a resident in Pom Coong village, Mai Chau town, has joined a cooking class at the district’s centre for vocational training and continuing education, though her household has provided homestay service for years. After only three months, Chi is able to master basic bartending and cooking techniques, and apply what she has learnt to develop her family’s tourism model.

Chi is part of a larger group of rural workers who find new ways after engaging in vocational training classes. In fact, the courses have changed their mind, helping them see tourism as a long-term and stable livelihood.

Ha Van Son from Nhot hamlet, Na Phon commune said he possesses various tour guide skills, including interesting introduction of local ethnic cultures, communication, and smooth settlement of situations, after attending the district’s tour guide training class.

Over the past time, Mai Chau district has arranged various courses for rural labourers, providing them with necessary skills to develop household economy, stabilise their lives and effectively carry out criteria to build new style rural areas.

According to Lo Van Binh, director of the district’s centre for vocational training and continuing education, three tour guide classes, five cooking classes and eight classes to revive the traditional brocade weaving were organised in 2023 with financial support from the national target programme on socio-economic development in ethnic-inhabited and mountainous areas, the national target programme on sutainable poverty reduction during 2021-2025, and the district’s budget.

The classes, which drew the participation of 480 people, have proved to be effective, contributing to reducing the poverty rate to 20.79% in 2023, or 3.45% lower than the figure in 2022, he added.

Vocational training and poverty alleviation have close relations, Binh said, highlighting that practical courses that are in line with the society’s demand will be a key to local socio-economic growth.

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