The transforming power of education
We design, execute and support programs that improve soft skills, technical knowledge and actual employment opportunities for young people living in the cities where we operate, by providing them with the tools they need in the digital era.
Our programs are based on the sustainability strategy planned for 2020 with three main commitments as regards social impact: shrink the existing gap between the education world and the employment world; develop talents for the IT sector; and promote job creation models based on IT. They are aligned with the sustainable development goals (SDGs) launched by the United Nations where we define our contribution to SDG 4, 8 and 17. Likewise, our commitment to start the +B Path generates the need for us to further the practices we have that deliver a direct positive impact on the community and integrate them even more into our internal practices.
Alliances and social investment map
Fostering a Future
Fostering a Future aims to support the life project design for young people who are in their last years of public secondary schools, providing tools that allow them to shine in both the labor and academic worlds.
This program consist in a non-formal education space that is built around the interaction between the young people, the company´s volunteers and an expert facilitator.
Through games, exercises and case study simulations, the young people gain knowledge, tools, aptitudes and confidence that they can use in the labor market and/or to continue their studies. Six years after the implementation of the program, it has become a true public-private work network providing high value employable skills for young people in Latin America.
- 7 years of the program in Buenos Aires y México
- 6 years of the program in Brazil
- 3 years of the program in Tandil
- 2 years of the program in Chile
Global Results 2017
FOSTERING A FUTURE
The Fostering a Future program was designed based on an analysis of the education and labor needs in the region. Therefore, during the first half of 2011, we worked on analyzing the gap between the education status in Latin America and labor market demands, identifying the needs of young people who fail to find their first job and the limitations dealt with when trying to continue studying. As a result, we decided to focus work on young people finishing secondary school. This is the stage when labor market insertion problems begin, because many times young people in vulnerability situations lack adequate information on the different job and educational opportunities, thus complicating future projection because they lack similar experiences in their family environment. In addition, school provides a dissemination and contention environment for young people, which facilitates the development of the workshop and high participation rates in the initiative. In turn, we analyzed knowledge available in gA and how it can promote the proposal, with proactive involvement. Thus, corporate volunteering became one of the pillars of Fostering a Future, as our employees participate by sharing their knowledge and experience, and showing young people the reality of business. Fostering a Future was designed to be replicated in other countries and by other companies in the industry, seeking to increase its impact and reach the largest number of youths possible. In each new place where the program is implemented, we look for local allies who know and help us analyze the particular aspects of each community, to adapt the program to local circumstances. To implement it, we develop strategic alliances with civil society organizations that share our mission and help us adapt the content of the program to suit each situation. Course modality and duration depend on the community where the course is implemented. It may include 4 to 11 meetings, but it also includes visits to gA’s offices so as to provide a direct experience of the labor market. In Argentina, where the headquarters are located, a new strategy was added complementing work through a network of alliances around FF to attract youths who have already participated in other programs and who may be employed by gA to participate in a group interview and be selected to start their professional career at gA. Innovation lies on having this formal network and making the most of the investment and effort made by the civil society in terms of training for employment as well as technical training to provide them with an actual job opportunity at gA.
Social innovation incubator
In addition to innovating as regards business transformation, we drive and support social innovation focused on youth employability in Latin America, in alliance with civil society organizations, governments and business partners. Together with the organization Puerta 18, SAP and supported by the Argentine Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Security, we promote Work to Grow (“Trabajo para Crecer”), an innovative employability promotion model aimed at young people in vulnerable situations with a high potential and specific training for the job.
With this program, we connect young people to their first qualified work experiences through internships in enterprises, helping them overcome their barriers to enter the market and make them find out what their job profile is according to the different job outlooks: employee, freelancer or entrepreneur.
Likewise, we help and support them in their job search following the internship. For entrepreneurs, this an opportunity to include in their staff talented young people to promote their growth through an easy way to learn about creative and committed profiles, reducing the initial financial and administrative burden.
The problem addressed by this project is youth unemployment, attributed to many factors:
Young people find very high barriers to enter the labor market. This is due to various reasons. The lack of work experience and the inability to show credentials, as well as the lack of experience reflecting their commitment, represent a more risky bid by employers when hiring them.
The ‘standard’ recruitment process makes it very difficult to spot and attract potential talents, because traditional tools ‘say’ very little about a young person and his/her potential. Therefore, employers usually prefer to hire professionals with some experience supporting them, which implies higher costs and fails to solve rotation problems. In addition, the sector on which we focus has the particular characteristic that in order to enter the sector, a contact network is needed, in addition to working for free for the first experiences. Vulnerable young people do not normally have contacts in these sectors, and they also need to provide financial support or do home chores, such us taking care of younger siblings, among others. We have thus detected the following needs of youths:
– Training focused on the labor market (soft skills and key technical tools)
– Early and worthwhile professional experiences (experiences to enter the labor market)
Believing that knowledge should be shared, we undertake this value and promote it, working on private social investment strategies through our main asset: knowledge. The purpose of Education 3.0 is to train technical secondary school teachers in the latest technology in order to contribute to updating education programs to meet the demands in the current labor market. Thus, by the end of the course, the teacher will deepen his/her knowledge in the basic language used to fully develop a website and will have the tools to continue a learning path independently, and hence keep enriching classroom work.
This year the course for students was directly taught at the Technical School No. 35 with excellent results. However, given the change of administration following the elections the DET (Directorate of Technical Schools) both in the Province of Buenos Aires and the City of Buenos Aires suffered changes in activities, with an impact on the program’s performance in terms of teachers, hence the work directly conducted in the classroom. In 2017, work was conducted with teachers from Tandil and the City of Buenos Aires. Together with the City of Buenos Aires DET (Directorate of Technical Schools) presentations were made to formalize the course and for it to have teacher scoring. Together with the team of volunteers, the website was also developed for the virtual mode to reach more teachers. In 2018, with the DET resolution, the City of Buenos Aires program will include a semi-attendance mode, alternating between the virtual and the classroom mode.
Sustainability Committee in Argencon
We continue to participate in Argencon’s Sustainability Committee, an articulation and joint work space among the knowledge industry companies to promote the impact of the initiatives carried out by each of them in this field.
During this year, we continued to implement the “Opening Windows” program as opportunity windows for young people within the knowledge export market. And, the new IncluTec program was launched together with BID FOMIN and civil society organizations to improve the results of the program 111 Thousand of the Argentine Ministry of Production, and thus allowing for more young people to be inserted in the market that exports knowledge to the world.
BENEFICIARIES OF THE ACTIVITIES
Fostering a Future
Our volunteers share their own work experiences, advice and ideas, giving the young participants an adult reference point.
This year, all the regions conducted activities during September to celebrate gA’s anniversary collaborating with the community.
Once a year we celebrate ‘gA Kids’ with our staff and their children at gA’s offices. Following this, we join the kid’s day celebration in the different cities where we operate collaborating with the community.
Education is an essential pillar of gA’s sustainability strategy. We therefore promote throughout the different sites education-driven actions given their transforming power.
Opening Windows program
Opening Windows is aimed at raising a calling to work in the knowledge-based services industry. The program is aimed at children in the last year of middle level education and who are deciding which college or university course to study, and tries to preferably, though not exclusively, favor the most vulnerable socio-economic populations. Together with Pescar, 6 Argencon companies took part in this 2017 edition: Accenture, Baufest, EY, HPE, HSBC, PWC.
Pro bono consulting
We started donating hours of our technical knowledge to serve social change. Therefore, a team of volunteers specialized in sales force in Mexico offered pro bono consulting hours so that the Sonrisas organization could make the best of its platform potential.
Our people’s initiatives
Our corporate culture supports the ideas and actions of our people in their communities, hence our help to make them real.
Year on year we joint the annual blood donation campaign in Buenos Aires, organized by the Garrahan Pediatrics Hospital. 16 blood bags were obtained.
15 kids benefited – 25 volunteers- 25 hours devoted
We participate in the annual event organized by Taller Protegido gathering food donations and rewarding employees who join the campaign.
We also collaborate with beverages for the Ciane organization annual event and raffle two tickets among the employees.
20 families benefited – 23 volunteers – 23 hours devoted
We joined the global action of Give a Day where we received an inspirational talk from Médecins Sans Frontières in Buenos Aires to tell us what is happening in Syria and how we can collaborate.
18 volunteers – 18 hours devoted
Collection of clothes and blankets for the winter together with Liga Solidaria Brazil.
10 families benefited
We organized a collection of Easter eggs together with our CHS clients for children attending Liga Solidaria activities.
600 chocolate eggs donated – 600 children benefited – 29 volunteers – 29 hours devoted
We spent a day conducting maintenance activities in the garden held by the Huerta Solidaria organization feeding low income families. We donated gardening tools to improve their work in the garden.
11 volunteers, 26 hours devoted, 50 families benefited
- Deepen the alliances under the framework of the Fostering a Future Program to exceed the 2018 target of youths involved.
- Institutionalize Education 3.0, incorporating it to the teachers’ training curricula.
- Conduct a survey among civil society organizations to assess our impact and learn how to foster it.
- Increase the contribution of our corporate volunteerism through more and better actions with the community.