Vietnam Time

9/23/2018 3:58:10 PM

La Boulangerie Française, where dreams made come true

Located on No.53 Vo Van Ngan street, Thu Duc district, HCM City, from the outside, La Boulangerie Française looks just like any ordinary bakeries you might come across. It is where French signature pastries such as baguette, croissants, macarons are sold. But if you have a chance to hear the story behind these cakes, you’ll know how distinctive La Boulangerie Française is.

Practice section at La Boulangerie Francaise. (Source: IECD)

Free vocational training and life skill training

More than a bakery, La Boulangerie Française is a vocation school where disadvantaged youth are provided with training in baking and pastry technique, English and life skills.

Following the fruitful model of La Boulangerie Française in the central province of Hue, La Boulangerie Française is a pastry training project launched by the European Institute of Cooperation and Development (IECD) and Thu Duc College of Technology (TDC), aiming to help disadvantaged youth seek jobs and earn a living after graduation.

Investment for the project, which will be conducted in 4 year (2017-2021), is EUR 1.3 million (including 0.6 by French Development Agency – AFD). The first batch of trainees started their study in December 2017.

In order to be admited to the program, candidates have to pass an entrance exam which include Math, English and social knowledge. The admission process also include an interview; an evaluation of candidates' motivation and family backgrounds. The qualified candidates later will attend a training which lasts 16 – 20 months, in which they will be provided with fundamental skills of baking, as well as behavioural skills and English.

All the training aims to make sure the trainees will become competent, independent and self-assured workers in the hospitality industry when they graduate.

Practice section at La Boulangerie Francaise. (Source: IECD)

La Boulangerie Française paid sufficient attention to its infrastructures and facilities, to ensure the trainees are offered the best learning and living environment, with qualified classrooms, and comfortable dormitory complexes located inside Thu Duc College of Technology’s campus.

The practice zone covering an area of 110 m2, is fully furnished and equipped with requisite machines and tools for baking. All of them are brand new and receive regular maintenance.

Particularly, trainees are granted a financial aid in terms of accommodation, food, tuition and medical services from IECD, which result in a reduction of tuition fee and living expenses. On average, a trainee only needs to pay VND 150,000 monthly; in some special cases, needy students even can enjoy 100% tuition fee exemption.

Making dream come true

Kim Tuyen, 19 years old from La Ghi, Binh Thuan province, is a trainee of La Boulangerie Française HCM City.

When Tuyen was 4, her parents got divorced. Despite the girl’s strong willingess to study and her grandmother’s utmost support, they still failed to afford education.

Tuyen’s learning path was interrupted when she just entered highschool.

Fortunately, the young girl was informed of La Boulangerie Française’s admission. She decided to apply for the course and was admitted after passing all the entrance exams.

9 months has passed since the first day Tuyen came to La Boulangerie  Française. She is now appears nothing short of a professional baker.

The young girl is dreaming of landing a job in a 5-star hotel in HCM City, later on a chef and if possible, expanding her career path abroad, like going to France.

Kim Tuyen holds faith in her future. (Source: the project clip)

If you know about the successes of Tuyen’s seniors, you'll understand that her dream is absolutely not beyond her reach.

According to Thomas Behaghel, IECD Director of Operations in Southeast Asia, who has accompanied the development of the project since the very beginning, most of La Boulangerie Francaise Hue ’s graduates have found jobs in premium restaurants and hotels of at least 4 stars, such as Pullman, Lotte, Mercure, Intercontinental in Hanoi, Hue, HCM City. 10 of them, have launched their own business after 5 to 10 working years.

Regarding its development plan, La Boulangerie Française has set the goal of turning into a social enterprise. Profits gained from its product sale will be invested back in the maintainence and operation of the school.

The Boulangerie hopes to be 90% financially autonomous by the end of 2019 by selling its products.

By 2021, the project aims at training 20 students annually, at least 50% of whom are female; ensuring that 2 months after graduation, 95% trainees can earn income which is higher than Vietnam’s average standard./.

  ( Translated by Phi Yen )
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