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Networking and collaboration

Interview with Ms Sara Encìnas , Education Senior Adviser, Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV), Peru, participant in the following training activities: “ILO Skills Development Academy”, from 24 October to 4 November 2011, and “Hacer frente a los problemas de empleo juvenil” (distance learning course), from 5 September to 20 December 2011.

First, we would like to know something about your role in your organization.

At the Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV), I am the leader of technical and vocational education training (TVET) for Latin America.

You have participated in two of our courses at the same time, one face-to-face activity at the Centre and one distance learning activity. What were your individual and institutional objectives in taking these courses?

My individual objectives were to update my knowledge of the latest topics and publications, to learn from other participants’ experience and to network with them. My institutional objectives were the same, with the additional aim of getting new ideas for projects.

As part of the distance learning course, you organized face-to-face meetings with other participants in Peru. Thus, you had both direct and virtual contact with each other and will even present common group work as part of the distance learning course. Can you tell our readers something about this experience?

The participants think this is a good opportunity to share common interests. We come from different organizations and are doing different things but targeting the same group, in this case young people.

By sharing our experiences, we worked more productively, gathering useful information on young people in Peru. For instance, the analysis we completed for the final exercise of module two was considered very useful for and by all of us. Some members of the group pointed out: “I think the work is very good and interesting, and also provides information that we can continue discussing and exchanging.”

I understand some further activity is foreseen on your return to Peru, to capitalize on your experience here in Turin. What do you plan to do?

I am planning to organize a workshop for my colleagues in the office, and also a workshop for participants from the youth and employment course, because they asked me to share my newly acquired experiences. I certainly have some fresh ideas. I feel inspired by the experiences of other participants, and I am definitely improving the projects we are designing now.

What impact do you think these courses will have on your work and on your organization?

I gained new ideas and insights. This will have a positive impact on my work, both for new projects and for some articles that I intend to write on TVET policy in my country, its finance and the needed for more coordinated work.

I will try to influence the new government to develop a new TVET policy and provide the necessary finance. Coordinated work among the Ministries of Labour and Education, private sector companies, trade unions and donors would be ideal. Economic growth is in everybody’s interest, at all levels: we are talking about measures to create more jobs and to reduce skills gaps and poverty.

I am also coordinating with colleagues in Africa and Asia, as TVET is a cross-cutting issue in our organization.

What is being done now in your country and what are the main challenges at this moment?

We have had good experiences with the Ministry of Labour; most of the programmes are good but we need to develop a system. To impact positively, we need to match these programmes with the demand for labour, and to measure the job placements at the end of the education programmes. We need to work on a higher education system in which vocational and university education are linked, and students can move from one to the other. We also need to improve the quality of vocational education centres, to update teachers’ skills to meet new requirements, and to match the supply of education with  demand for labour.

How did you feel here at the Centre during your stay?

I felt very good, everything was very well organized and every detail was thought out. I think the Centre’s great strength is to provide the opportunity to interact with people from different cultures and nationalities. For instance, at the Centre women could share information about their role in society, and how this represents new challenges for us, our family and our workplace. Many women still have to deal with difficult situations.

Do you have a special message to convey in the light of your experience?

No matter where you come from, no matter what your culture or which language you speak, there is always something to learn and something to teach.

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