When the student becomes a teacher... A case of successful professional inclusion!


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The IECD (Institut Européen de Coopération et de Développement) and AccorHotels teams in Thailand: a beautiful story that goes back more than 5 years! Let’s discover the adventure of Thong, now a Junior Chef at the HCTC school supported by the Group.

At Mae Sot, a town located to the west of Thailand, on the Burmese border, young Thais and young people from the Karen ethnic minority are trained together in the hotel and catering business. Coincidence? Definitely not! The IECD became established in the region in 2004 and developed a training hotel-restaurant there in 2008, the “HCTC”, to promote the socio-economic inclusion of young rural Thais and Karens. This training in the hospitality trades, alternating theory and practice over two years, allowed them to acquire the skills and behaviour needed to satisfy professional requirements in the sector.

A win-win partnership!

The AccorHotel teams in Thailand naturally wanted to contribute to and take part in the development of this programme from the outset.

Various actions have been implemented in recent years in partnership with the IECD: financial support of Solidarity AccorHotels, participation in training modules, networking, internships in the Group’s hotels, donations of equipment. The aim is always to satisfy needs expressed by the association, by relying on a developed professional network and strong business expertise.

In recent years, the local teams have been set a new challenge: the HCTC offers some of its most talented students the possibility of staying in the structure and becoming trainers themselves to transmit their skills to students in the years below them. This was the case of Kasemsri and Nut, who have joined the ranks of HCTC trainers. This year, it is the turn of Thong, a former student, to become the school’s Junior Chef. A new mission full of challenges and responsibilities that slightly daunts him. “Sometimes I feel that I’m a bit young for my job”.

The teams of SO Bangkok asked him to do a two-month internship in their establishment to reassure him and boost his self-confidence.

A “SO” professional experience to boost his confidence:

Thong perfected his craft working with the SO Bangkok teams from March to April 2018, before returning to Mae Sot, confident and determined as a training assistant at the catering college.

He talks about his experience: “Being trained here gave me an unbelievable opportunity to progress and improve myself. I am very grateful for the trust people have shown in me and the opportunities offered”.

The SO teams were delighted with this experience and very satisfied by the progress Thong made during his internship. It was also the opportunity to reinforce his managerial and financial knowledge, a real asset in this young chef’s career!

This skills-building experience has proven its worth and Kolawat, a young member of the HCTC team will soon benefit from a similar experience at the Sofitel Phnom Penh. Watch this space...

See the project IECD Thailand