“If everyone and every sector move together, truly helping to create opportunity spaces for all groups, I believe that no difference should be a condition that limits anyone from job opportunities or discovering their path for professional development.”

Mr. Phuree Smittinet, the head of the ‘Café Amazon for Chance’ project at Sarn Palung Social Enterprise Co., Ltd., one of the private sector representatives participating in the ‘Encouraging Continuous Thinking, Discovering, and Advancing Vocational Education for Everyone’ workshop, discussed the improvement of spaces and work processes to ‘create opportunity spaces’ where everyone can collaborate. This workshop under the High Vocational Innovation Scholarship Program for students with special needs by EEF Thailand was attended by representatives from government agencies, the private sector, local and regional administrative authorities, vocational institutions, private companies, disabled persons’ organizations networks, parents of special needs students, and the students’ representatives.

Mr. Phuree shared that Amazon has transformed 287 branches along with our 40 franchisee branches participating in the Café Amazon for Chance project to employ disabled people, older people, and diverse groups, filling more than 400 positions. The project head mentioned that they have received positive customer feedback, marking the beginning of expanding cooperation with various parties to create job opportunities for those in need quantitatively and sustainably.

“The concept of ‘coexistence’ has been widely discussed because all parties agree that ‘everyone in society’ should have a path to self-development. For Amazon, since the inception of the Café Amazon for Chance project, our sales have increased, and we believe this trend will become the future societal trend. Amazon is committed to expanding cooperation with various sectors, creating experiences and connections, and supporting those who need opportunities to build a career in every possible way.”

Amazon has redesigned spaces and installed basic facilities, including automated brewing machines and queuing systems, to enhance work efficiency. They have also organized training to ensure they achieve the same efficiency and standardization of products and services.

Additionally, Amazon has collaborated with vocational institutions to offer a ‘Dual Vocational Training’ educational system within the ‘High Vocational Innovation Scholarship Program for students with special needs,’ a collaboration program between EEF Thailand, the Office of the Vocational Education Commission, and the Faculty of Education, Chulalongkorn University. This program aims to support talented disabled youth who are financially underprivileged and underserved. It enables them to further their education in a high vocational certificate program and expand their job opportunities through ‘creating cooperation’ between vocational institutions and the private sector as social partners. This allows scholarship students to gain real work experience and provides a stepping stone to employment after graduation.

“Collaboration from network partners is crucial, including educational institutions, professional promotion institutes, and various professional qualification institutes that connect their work with us, enabling the development of learning system management and professional skills enhancement. This also helps increase the self-care capacity of scholarship students with special needs. When these students transition from educational institutions to workplaces, we help them adapt to working environments by providing training in essential skills, such as financial planning and management, for their current spending and future savings.”

“Furthermore, the Dual Vocational Training educational systems ignite our determination to support education career path advancements. Employees who have worked for a certain tenure can equate their experience to academic qualifications and use their certificates for further studies or adjust their job positions based on their qualifications. With the Café Amazon for Chance project, we aim to create real opportunities truly. Thus, we want everyone who joins us to have the potential for growth in one way or another without necessarily having to continue working with us. Therefore, employees who gain experience and wish to become entrepreneurs can attend training sessions on operational systems and learn about business planning and management. Amazon is ready to provide guidance and advice, helping new entrepreneurs establish and grow their business development.”

This is one of the approaches to ‘Create Opportunities for Everyone’ from a business establishment that plays a significant role in the ‘High Vocational Innovation Scholarship Program for students with special needs,’ which provides empirical evidence and affirms that if every sector in society adjusts to one another, we can discover pathways to ‘coexistence’ where no one is left behind.

Credit: Rawis Larha | Content and Writer Production Officer

Source: (High Vocational Innovation Scholarship Program for students with special needs) ‘Stop Worrying About Hiring People with Disabilities as Being Not Worthwhile’ by Mr. Puree Smittinet, Café Amazon for Chance.