Photo: workers in Vietnam show their "expectation tree" after a focus group discussion exercise. An expectation tree conveys workers' concerns and expectations towards work and life.
Seven factories will implement The Centre’s WeCare programme in Vietnam this year, implementing WeCare activities that will establish family-friendly work practices, strengthen gender equality and support female employees by strengthening maternity rights.
One of the factories has also recently launched a recruitment drive to hire young workers under the age of 18 and above the legal minimum age who will be taking part in a youth development programme at the factory.
As part of this programme, the workers will receive training in a range of subjects to build up their soft skills and technical skills. They will have the opportunity to rotate working positions to gain additional experience and increase their knowledge of health and safety at the workplace and worker rights among other topics. At the same time, the factories will learn how to effectively manage young workers and ensure their working conditions – from their tasks to their pay and working hours – comply with local regulations.
WeCare takes a holistic approach and equally focuses on building up support systems on the managerial level to ensure strong maternity protection programmes are sustainably implemented and embedded in the company’s core practices. Awareness-raising, knowledge-building and training targeting HR, management and fathers are components that work towards this end.
In 2021, The Centre’s WeCare Programme brought benefits to thousands of workers and their families across 62 factories and farms in four key sourcing countries. The supporting brands and retailers saw many positive impacts in their supply chains, including more satisfied workers, increased capacity of factory staff to support worker wellbeing and enhance management and recruitment processes, increased intention and incentives for workers to continue working at factories, education support for parent workers’ children enabling them to continue going to school, and greater resilience among workers to cope with crisis-induced stress, among other benefits. With supply chains and families greatly impacted by the pandemic in 2021, WeCare addressed some of the most salient needs of workers and producers.
In 2022, despite facing continued pandemic-related challenges particularly in China, the WeCare programme is on course to not only repeating these impacts at new suppliers but to bring them to scale as well. In China, 17 factories are implementing WeCare in 2022, while in Vietnam, seven factories have committed to rolling out the programme – the largest number of factories taking part in WeCare in Vietnam to date. These Vietnamese factories are dispersed across the country from north to south, have a combined workforce of over 24,000, and produce garments and shoes for an international brand.
In May, The Centre’s team concluded the needs assessments at four of the factories in Vietnam – the first step of the programme to evaluate the needs of the factories and workers. Based on the results of the assessment, The Centre will help the suppliers choose and select the most appropriate and feasible activities from over a dozen WeCare services.
Click here to learn more about the WeCare Family-Friendly Workplaces programme.