Improving the competencies of the workforce within Guatemala's Food and Beverage industry

Upskilling and reskilling
11.07.2022
A strong and innovative industrial sector that creates employment is fundamental for the development of sustainable prosperity in Latin America. To promote innovation in the Guatemalan industry, Swisscontact works with partners from the private sector and academic institutions to strengthen people’s competencies through Work-Based Training, thus improving their employability.

In an alliance with the private sector and academia, Swisscontact's Innova project supported the first group of people who completed the course in Food and Beverage Production Plant Operation at the Universidad del Valle de Guatemala (UVG). 

28 people from important local food manufacturing companies such as PANIFRESH, Nutritional Foods of Central America (Nutrica), and from the Technical School of the Municipality of Guatemala participated in the nine-week learning process.

"The Universidad del Valle of Guatemala is committed to developing the skills of the workforce and developing the country. That is our day-to-day work, to provide our students with the necessary tools and skills for work."
Ana Silvia Colmenares, director of the UVG Food Engineering degree

Innovation thanks to alliances

At the end of 2021, Swisscontact, Nutrica, and Universidad del Valle de Guatemala started to develop a curriculum design aimed at creating training for the role of a production plant operator. The process was completed in three phases:

  • Joint curriculum design with Swisscontact, Nutrica company, and Universidad del Valle de Guatemala
  • Training of tutors within the company on how to use the curriculum, as well as strengthening their pedagogical skills to carry out Work-Based Training
  • Training of partners for the duration of around three months through the curricular design tailored to technical personnel of the food production plant

Work-Based Training for the development of employees’ skills

In the Food and Beverage Production Plant Operator course, the methodology of Work-Based Training (WBT) was used. WBT refers to the training people receive after their insertion into working life. It is aimed at developing and updating the knowledge and skills of the employees so they can maintain and improve their employability.  

Tutors were trained in the company so they could apply the curriculum and strengthen their pedagogical skills to carry out the training methodology. The process included theoretical learning held in classrooms, hands-on training in the facilities of the Centre for Technological Innovation of Universidad del Valle de Guatemala as well as in the companies they work in.

By the end of the Innova project in 2024, 1,200 partners are expected to train through technical and vocational training institutions, and approximately 300 partners from the business sector are to be certified.

The Innova project is financed by the Esperanza Foundation, among other donors. It is part of the Swisscontact Development Programme which is co-financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), and the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs FDFA.

Guatemala
Labour market insertion
Innova
Disadvantaged young adults will be able to successfully enter professional life through solid, high-quality training. In this way they will generate income for themselves and their families, freeing themselves from poverty on their own initiative.Young men and women are learning important technical skills in vocational training. Since the project...