Battlepanda: Welfare Queen knitting with bamboo needles


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Welfare Queen knitting with bamboo needles

I'll be taking a knitting class, sponsored by the Taiwanese government.

Say what? Yep. You heard right. The government here sponsors a multitude of career skills programs. But how is knitting a career skill? Well, you got me there. I think the idea is people might leave to start yarn stores or something.

The government-drafted craft center also teaches patternmaking, machine-knitting and fashion illustration. There are periodic hefty discounts where 80% of the tuition is paid for by Uncle Chiang. In order to comply with their license, a certain percentage of students at the center has to pass government exams and a certain percentage has to go into the trade.

Crazy? Or crazy like a fox? I do know that there is an mini-explosion of fashionable yarn stores in Taipei now, including one where a skinny skein can set you back $15 (just like in the states).

Let's just say that even though I'm taking advantage of this program, I have doubts about its efficacy. I certainly don't see a yarn store in my future. Just some nice winter hats.

What I do approve of is the Taiwanese government's extensive license program for professional skills. They are rigorous, standardized and comes in three levels of proficiency. I don't know how much it takes to administer, but I'm sure its well worth it in terms of employment generated and raising the standards of the workforce. The examinations are offered in everything from aviation mechanics to bartending.

Also, I approve of cute government websites.