Ecuador’s informal workers receive training as bar and restaurant attendants

A vocational training programme aimed at preparing 20 informal workers to work as bar and restaurant attendants has come to a close in Quito, Ecuador. The initiative was part of the Training for Employment pilot project funded by AECID and carried out with the technical assistance of Ecuador’s Labour Relations Ministry.

A formal ceremony took place in Quito at which diplomas were handed out to the first group of participants to successfully train as bar and restaurant attendants as part of the Training for Employment pilot project. Attending the ceremony were, among others, the Labour Relations Ministry’s Director General for Employment, Alvaro Jiron, the director of CAPACITATUR (a vocational training joint venture between the municipal authorities and Quito’s tourism sector employers’ association) and the director of ISCOD, Jose Manzanares.

The project that encompasses this first module is sponsored by the Spanish international development and cooperation agency AECID, with technical assistance from the Labour Relations Ministry of Ecuador.

The 20 participants received a total of 225 hours of training, with an additional 50 hours of in-company apprenticeship, as well as 25 hours of social skills training within public and private entities. In addition to hands-on training, the participants gained skills in other fields, including entrepreneurial spirit, social and labour issues, occupational health and safety, as well as an introduction to gender equality.

It is worth noting that the participants, who were all independent and had, in most cases, never received any kind of social protection, were able to claim expenses for attending the programme as well as being provided with insurance cover protecting them in case of an accident. They were also provided with work clothes and any materials required for the training process.

Skills and labour rights

The overall aim of the project is to provide Vocation Training in Employment to workers currently in employment who need to complete their training, as well as to the unemployed within the municipality of Quito, to enhance their likelihood of finding skilled and stable employment. The project specifically aims at promoting vocational training within the context of the informal economy in Ecuador, with particular emphasis on the manufacturing sectors and gender specific aspects. In time, this project is expected to provide training to a total of 140 workers spread across seven different areas of occupational qualification. The project involves two lines of work. The first of them is the training sessions as such (in two blocks) and on-site apprenticeships. The first block will start at the end of the project preparatory phase and the second block of training activities will proceed following assessment of the outcomes of the first block. This will be based on external interim assessments followed by the resolution of any shortcomings ensuing there from. The second line of work will be aimed at drawing up a baseline proposal for the setting up of a network of quality occupational training centres.

FUNCODEF is an Ecuadorian foundation that was created as the result of the work undertaken by ISCOD in Ecuador, with the purpose of providing ground for genuine training and cooperation, with special emphasis on trade union training. As such, the Foundation emerged out of and, to a large extent, reflects ISCOD’s work and long term involvement in Ecuador, especially in the field of training. The fact that it is an NGO accredited by the AECID allows ISCOD to be covered by an agreement, which enables us to maintain a considerable level of action in our field of work, which is essentially trade unionism. It should also be pointed out that the AECID has been the main sponsor of the development cooperation work carried out by ISCOD throughout its history, thus vouching for the quality work undertaken by the organisation within the context of the AECID’s action towards promoting cooperation.

Communications Division. ISCOD Technical Department. Madrid, 30th March 2012