Skills and capacity building
Our flagship community investment programme in Latin America and the Caribbean (LA&C), Learning for Life, aims to equip its students with skills to help them enter the local workforce, either in our value chain or other local industries.
Learning for Life began as a programme to give life skills and training to people in the region’s key areas of tourism, retailing, the arts, hospitality, entrepreneurship, and teaching. It’s designed to give people a real chance of finding employment and becoming active contributors to their communities. Since its launch in 2008, Learning for Life has engaged over 50,999 students. In 2011, we ran 52 projects in 15 countries. This year we are proud to say that the Organisation of American States awarded Learning for Life the Corporate Citizen of the America’s award in the Education category.
Following are some of the key projects we implemented, and their results this year.
Argentina / Dominican Republic – Project Tourism
‘Project Tourism’ aims to inspire communities to identify their strengths and develop local, natural and cultural assets into sources of tourism income in a culturally and environmentally sensitive way. Towards this goal, its ‘Learning for Life’ core curriculum aims to empower students to organise local tourism strategies. Capitalising on our presence with Navarro Correas in Argentina’s Mendoza wine region, a second class of 75 students is currently learning skills relevant to the wine tourism industry following a successful first class of 21 graduates. Project Tourism in the Dominican Republic was recently the site of a large ‘Learning for Life’ graduation, with over 260 students completing a programme in culinary skills.
Brazil – Project Retailer
‘Project Retailer’ develops young people for a career in the retail industry, providing them with the skills for customer relations, cash management and professional appearance. Project Retailer offers disadvantaged, unemployed individuals the opportunity to gain skills and hands-on experience in the packaged goods and food store retail sector. In São Paulo, 90 students recently graduated with their professional certificates, thanks to a partnership with a local university.
Haiti – Project Entrepreneur
‘Project Entrepreneur’ trains community members with knowledge and practical tools to become productive and self-sustaining in the future. The programme is designed to promote institutional and organisational strengthening of community social structures, improving individual and collective capacities in management and entrepreneurship. A Project Entrepreneur programme focused on construction skills launched in nine sites within Haiti, just a month before the January 2010 earthquake. The construction sector is proving especially important in Haiti following the devastation of the earthquake. Project Entrepreneur in Haiti was recently the site of the largest ‘Learning for Life’ graduation, with 948 students completing a programme in construction skills.
Jamaica – Project Artist
‘Project Artist’ teaches gifted individuals and groups to use their artistic abilities to generate income for themselves, their families and their communities. Participants follow the ‘Learning for Life’ core curriculum in addition to acquiring specific skills such as entrepreneurship, business management, artisan skills or preparation for work in the art or music industry. Recently, three Project Artist graduates from Jamaica secured professional recording contracts with Solid Agency, one of Jamaica’s leading entertainment companies.
Mexico – Project Professor
‘Project Professor’ trains teachers in marginalised areas, and is currently focusing on Mexico. Following 32 weeks of training and online counselling, students receive a diploma, and the top 1% of students receive a 100% scholarship for a summer course in Spain. During 2011, 15,000 teachers trained through ‘Learning for Life’.
US Virgin Islands – Project Hospitality
Diageo US Virgin Islands jointly sponsors this programme with the St. Croix Hotel and Tourism Association. It provides full scholarships for 30 students a year to take 12-week bartending and culinary courses that include technical, life skills and customer service training. Students also participate in internships with local hotels and restaurants.
Venezuela – Project Bartender
‘Project Bartender’ prepares individuals to enter a career in bartending or related fields with the skills and knowledge needed to serve customers responsibly and well. It offers underprivileged young adults of legal serving age the chance at getting their first job as a bartender, server or barista in the hospitality industry. In Venezuela, 76 students recently graduated from the programme, following a curriculum of both professional and bartending skills.