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Press Release

Students from San Carlos and Puntarenas Graduate in English and Employability Skills

DECEMBER 10th 2019

•First 85 graduates from the Skill for Life program, part of the Bilingualism Partnership.
•Skills for Life trains 1000 students.
•The program benefits communities such as La Cruz, Nicoya, Isla Chira, and Limon, among others.

Alajuela, Costa Rica. December 10th, 2019. In 12 months, 85 people were trained to strengthen and adapt their occupational profile through life skills, English proficiency and access to information, in order to increase their employability opportunities.

Yesterday, these students from San Carlos and Puntarenas, graduated from the Skills for Life program, which seeks to improve employability, and is part of the Public-Private Partnership for Development, between the Ministry of Labor and Social Security, the Costa Rica Investment Promotion Agency (CINDE) and ALIARSE, within the Bilingualism Partnership framework.

The Minister of Labor and Social Security, Geannina Dinarte Romero, and the President of ALIARSE, Jorge Nowalski, participated in the graduation ceremony.

Dinarte mentioned: “It is real joy and pride to see the first graduates of the Skills for Life program. The program gives these 85 people advantageous conditions to obtain a job in their communities or anywhere in the country.”

Then added: "The public-private partnerships for development are definitely a vital instrument in the search for the best conditions that allow people to be better prepared to fill the jobs created in the country."

This Partnership aims to train 1000 people that are over 17 years old, who belong to vulnerable populations with completed high school studies and that are not working or studying anything additional when the program starts.

The program benefits students from the communities of La Cruz, Nicoya, Puntarenas, Isla Chira, Ciudad Quesada, Perez Zeledon, Limon, Pococi, Siquirres, and Guacimo, who, in addition to working on their English level certification, will acquire necessary skills to obtain more and better opportunities in the labor market.

“Our goal is to promote and strengthen public-private cooperation on strategic matters for the country´s development. That is why we focus our efforts on the search of tools that we can provide to program participants to improve employability through the articulation of public-private efforts at national and local levels,” said Jorge Nowalski, President of ALIARSE.

“At CINDE we actively participate in promoting programs that improve employability conditions. Today, as members of the Bilingualism Partnership and the Skills for Life program, we celebrate this first graduation that represents the first results to lead thousands of Costa Ricans to opt for better job options. Data, based on the National Household Survey and the University of Costa Rica, show that those bilingual people, who work in the private sector, earn on average 30% more than those who do not speak a second language,” said Jorge Sequeira, Managing Director of CINDE.
 
High-quality team and professionalism
For the successful implementation of this program, there is an interdisciplinary team of professors and professionals, who have committed themselves not only to student learning but also to their development as people.

The team of teachers stands out by having an international certification in the teaching of English as a second language, who are mostly native speakers, thus ensuring that the process of language absorption occurs naturally and exposing them to different accents and cultures which students could face in the work environment.

Throughout the first year of the Skills for Life program, about 60 volunteer teachers have entered the country who, as part of the program, stay with host families who receive them in their homes and provide them with lodging and food, thus strengthening the local economy.

The team of social professionals is responsible for monitoring and accompanying the students implementing life skills workshops.