Working with academic institutions and the private sector to create training courses for software developers in Guatemala

Upskilling and Reskilling
Through the project Innova, Swisscontact in Guatemala promotes work-based training, which strives to improve and update employees' skills so they are better equipped for their jobs. The project focuses on strengthening human talent in the technological and food and beverage sectors by collaborating with businesses and training institutes.

In Guatemala, gender inequality exists insofar as women tend to be overburdened by domestic housework and caretaking, preventing them from pursuing their professional career aspirations. Local circumstances such as this structurally and systemically hinder the participation of women in the field of Science - Technology - Engineering - Mathematics (STEM). 

Developing training curricula together with the private sector and academia

To promote coordination between the different actors involved, Swisscontact's Innova project has developed a Work-Based Training Council - Information and Communications Technology (ICT) as a coordination space for the technology sector. Its aim is to co-create —and provide feedback—, alternative processes and solutions, as well as training systems that will strengthen employees and promote the participation of women as representatives of organisations of the ICT sector.

Through this coordinated work, with the support of the Information Technology Outsourcing Commission (ITO) of the Guatemalan Association of Exporters (AGEXPORT) and together with the business sector of the Work-Based Training Council - ICT, it was possible to create important resources. For example, six competency profiles for the technology sector were developed:

  • Developer: Junior – Middle – Senior
  • Developer: Front-end – Back-end Mobile

Based on these profiles, Swisscontact worked with the business sector and academic institutions such as the Universidad del Valle of Guatemala and Kinal (Tech and Labor Educational Centre) to draft curricular designs aimed at developing training processes for junior developers and front-end developers. These professions are highly demanded by the private sector.

Curricula adapted to the needs of the business sector

Additionally, the project has worked with business training entities that are specifically focused on the tech sector. Through this collaboration, it has been possible to adapt curricula that respond to the needs and requirements of the business sector in content, methodology, format (for example, in the form of a bootcamp), and logistics.

The company Laserants, which offers training for specialised areas of technology, has carried out training related to:

  • Official course of ISTQB® (International Software Testing Qualification Board)
  • Fundamentals and automation of service tests and web pages
  • The AWS Certification Preparatory Course (Solutions Architect Associate).

The collaboration between LaserAnts and Swisscontact has allowed more than 30 students to successfully complete courses in Software Quality Control and Cloud Development. The joint development of recruitment and development of curricula for work-based training has contributed to strengthening the Guatemalan labour force trained in technology. The courses not only help young people but also contribute to the growth of companies where students work.

"Considering the current large gap in the presence of women in technology, the presence of female students in our courses has been extremely important, thus supporting the training of more women who provide a diverse and representative vision and inspiring even more women to get involved and train in technology."
LaserAnts Guatemala
The team at LaserAnts

Improving the sector knowledge of HR staff

Human resources staff of tech companies were trained by Core Code io. The Technical Recruitment training process aimed to improve HR staff's technical and strategic knowledge of the sector, certifying them as Technical Recruiters and making the hiring process of human talent more effective.

More women in tech

In 2021, the Innova project conducted a "Study of continuous training needs based on the technology sector workplace”, which showed that women in the tech sector represent only 20% of the labour force. By promoting these alternative training processes, the participation of women in the various associations and female participants enrolled (37% women) has thus surpassed the level of women’s participation that the tech sector traditionally holds.

Taking this into consideration, more information is being gathered that will allow the creation and promotion of processes that will provide greater access to women to train in tech areas. An upcoming "Study on the participation of women in the field of work of ICT" will provide results and recommendations to the academia and business actors, for the implementation of practices that will promote equitable and inclusive labour participation.

"As a woman in technology, it can sometimes be difficult to stand out and be noticed. But these opportunities are what really make us realise our capabilities and keep us going."
Carol Arévalo completed the course of ISTQB® - International Software Testing Qualification Board.
21-year-old Carol Arévalo currently works as an Android developer at the company Geko.

"Thanks to the recommendation of my career professor at the Universidad del Valle de Guatemala (UVG), I had the opportunity to be part of the Swisscontact Innova Project, taking the official course of International Software Testing Qualification Board taught by LaserAnts, through which I obtained the international certification at Tester Foundation Level endorsed by ISTQB", explains Carol Arévalo, adding that this experience contributed greatly to her academic and professional development.

This 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), Federal Department of Foreign Affairs FDFA. 

Labour market insertion
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...