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CHILE: Adult Vocational Training and Career Support

Based in Santiago, project partner Foundation for Educational, Social and Economic Development (FEDES) focuses on alleviating suffering through humanitarian relief, adult education and job training programs. FEDES provided relief in the aftermath of major disasters such as the devastating earthquake in 2010, and large-scale flooding in northern Chile in 2015. Ongoing distribution of hospital equipment, wheelchairs and other medical supplies benefits underserved communities.

At FEDES’ Vocational Training School, adult learners--many of whom are single mothers, and all of which come from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds--- have the opportunity to learn a trade, gain employable skills, and receive support to find jobs or start their own businesses. In cooperation with the Ministry of Labor, two different programs are operating concurrently at the FEDES school: “Mas Capaz” (More Capable) and “FOTRAP” (Formación para el Trabajo, Training for Work). Mas Capaz is a new program designed to train 450,000 people during the current presidential term, including young adults, women and disabled persons.

Regular courses have included Telecommunications, IT Support, Culinary Arts, Catering Services, Warehouse and Stock Control, Nursing, Cosmetology, Wardrobe Design and Tailoring, and Intermediate English Language. Four additional courses were added in 2015, training candidates for the following careers: Administrative Assistant, Customer Service Assistant, General Tax Accounting Assistant, and Warehouse and Logistics Assistant. Each course includes a minimum of 180 instructional hours. This past year, 598 students completed their courses and received certification of their skills.

With a key focus of the program being employability and job insertion, FEDES arranges internships and job interviews with various companies. Many courses also have options for students (mostly single mothers) to build a business to provide for their families and also care for their household. Entrepreneurial students participated in various local fairs and visited several government, learning about taxes, financial administration, marketing, virtual platforms and presentation skills.