Graduating during a pandemic: Class of 2020 at Kappahl’s training centre for women

When the pandemic broke out, KappAhl’s training centre in Bangladesh had to close overnight. When reopening, there were still concerns – would the women find jobs in these uncertain times?

To address the coronavirus pandemic, in February 2020, KappAhl and TCM Foundation’s training centre in Bangladesh had to close their doors. The women who were preparing to start training saw their education plans being postponed.

For months the training centre was closed. But when the Bangladeshi society gradually reopened, so did the centre, with strict health and safety measures in place. Temperature checks, hand washing, surface sanitization and staying home at the slightest symptoms became everyday elements of the training for the 26 women in the (reduced) class of 2020.

Although training could resume, students were particularly concerned about their job prospects and were bracing themselves to enter a difficult job market during the pandemic. But when they started to apply for jobs, in less than two weeks all but two had secured employment. Some of them even had multiple offers to choose from.

“Our students were determined to find jobs. They started interviewing for jobs as soon as the training neared its end – often two to three interviews per day, says Shahanaz Begum, the centre’s director. “The training centre has been around for ten years and so far trained close to 1,000 women. Our ex-students are known for being disciplined, talented operators. This good reputation obviously gives our recent graduates an edge!”

Learn more about KappAhl and TCM Foundation’s training centre for women in Bangladesh.