Training opens up options for women

A range of subjects is on offer in a program designed for moms with babies to look after.

Women in Minhang District are being given the chance to become makeup artists or marketing analysts, among other pursuits, with free training on their doorstep.

Moms Home, which offers a variety of activities and vocational training free of charge to local stay-at-home mothers, was launched at the Jiangchuan Road Community yesterday.

A three-month trial operation which began last year attracted nearly 2,000 mothers to take part in a range of activities that included knitting, embroidery, and lessons in finance, marketing and makeup. So far, 100 of them have obtained part-time jobs, and other 230 have been granted interviews with banks or other financial institutions.

Geng Huan, 31, attended a flower arrangement class last year. The mother of a 4-year-old girl said: “I’m so happy that there’s finally a good place to learn new skills and meet new friends. It relieves my stress at home.”

Geng is planning to start up her own nutrition consulting business. “Besides making friends, I can also promote myself as a nutritionist as mothers always care about their children’s health,” she said. “I’ve heard that there would be training related to entrepreneurship. I’m really interested about it.”

Lack of baby-care facilities

Many local mothers have two children, said Li Rong, vice chairman of Shanghai Women’s Federation, but there is a lack of quality baby-care facilities.

“Today, some mothers have tried stay-at-home work, featuring flexible schedules. It can help women to have a work-life balance,” she said. “The Shanghai Women’s Federation really likes this idea, and we will discuss about expanding it to other communities and districts.”

Moms Home was initiated by Coca-Cola China in 2014. So far, there are 11 sites around the country. The Jiangchuan site is operated by Coca-Cola, the women’s federation and community officials.

Training courses have been especially designed to cater to local demand in an area with renowned universities and high technology industrial parks.

“Most of the women here quit their jobs because they had to take care of their babies and support their husbands with busy schedules,” said Zhou Qi, from Coca-Cola China. “They have good educational backgrounds, and are qualified to enter the workplace again. But what they need is just a platform. It is exactly what we offer.”

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