Supporting the Challenges of Parent Factory Workers

At Matrix, we believe that making good quality products need not come at the expense of others. We recognise the importance of the communities from which we source and we have a strong commitment to improving the lives of workers within our supply chain.

With this in mind, we recently worked with CCR CSR, a pioneer in the field of children’s rights in China, to successfully conduct a half-day parent training for a Matrix supplier.

The modules were designed to support the emotional needs and challenges of migrant parent factory workers who have left their children behind in villages to be looked after by grandparents or appointed carers (a phenomenon which is common in China).

The five modules gave workers the tools to communicate with their children more effectively, whilst also building their confidence and capacity to be a supportive parent. The module topics included how to create an enabling environment for your children, understanding your child’s needs and expectations, how to effectively communicate and how to make the most of your time with your child.

It was a valuable and extremely useful tool for delivering the knowledge and skills that parents need in order to start building closer relationships with their left‐behind children.

Education is key to improving the lives of the workers and this was a great opportunity for the factory managers to understand the situation and needs of their employees and to consider more practical actions to support parent workers, such as setting up child-friendly spaces and support groups.

Such initiatives enable parent workers to spend more time with their children during summer holidays and deal with the emotional stress of working away from home for long periods. They can also create long-lasting impacts for the factory who will benefit from a more stable workforce and reduced turnover of staff. The workers also create their own action plans to follow when they return home for the Chinese New Year holiday.

The half-day parent training was a great success and achieved the objective of helping migrant workers address challenges related to children; to gain a better understanding of the needs and rights of their children, and to grasp the skills needed for effective remote communication.

This training was conducted as part of our long-term childcare-based community program and has provided us with action points to further improve workers lives – more to follow!