The program aims to create job opportunities in the carpet industry for unemployed men and women in need of economic opportunity by providing them with the skills to become proficient in weaving and dyeing. Post- training, successful candidates are given government approved certification and are placed in fair and sustainable jobs in GoodWeave member companies.
Despite being among the top three export industries in Nepal, the carpet weaving industry has encountered difficulty attracting the skilled human resources it requires, putting young people more at risk of being sought to fill the labour gap.While carpet companies are eager to hire Nepali workers, a number of factors complicate the recruitment of a qualified workforce:
Lack of high-quality, market-driven training: There exists only one carpet-related training center in Nepal, the Khumbheshwor Technical School. Khumbheshwor, however, trains only 5–10 workers at a time and those are generally hired by its own production facility. Moreover, Kubheshwor does not serve low-income workers.
Negative Perceptions of the Carpet Sector: The carpet sector has developed a reputation for low wages and poor working conditions. GoodWeave’s research confirmed that rug sector jobs are perceived as being unattractive employment options in the face of other alternatives. While many factories earn this reputation, GoodWeave member companies offer a stark contrast: they offer higher wages, safe workplaces, and protected labor rights.
“Trendy” Labor Migration: In recent years, Nepal has seen massive out-migration of people seeking employment in Gulf countries, which has left a skilled labor shortage in many domestic sectors. Remittances now comprise 25 percent of GDP in Nepal, but Nepal’s migrant workers take tremendous risks when leaving the country to look for work. Uneducated and unskilled workers (the majority of migrants) are particularly vulnerable, as they are frequently forced to turn to informal migration channels that often promise legitimate work in urban centers, but in reality lead to forced commercial sexual exploitation or domestic servitude.
The training program has been supported in collaboration with The Asia Foundation and the Greater Impact Foundation, endeavouringto support the localcarpet weaving industry, indirectly working to prevent child laborand provide socio-economic opportunities to disadvantaged beneficiary groups.