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Dubai Cares Opens New Horizons For Youth In Ecuador
(30 July 2018)
The program is set to benefit over 4,073 secondary students across 21 schools

Dubai Cares, part of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, today announced the launch of a new program in Ecuador focused on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in partnership with VVOB, a Belgian Flemish organization which focuses on Education for Development.

The AED 1,835,000 million (USD 500,000) program titled, “Skilling for Sustainable Tourism” is set to provide tourism-related courses to 4,073 students in upper secondary, which will give them the required skills to gain decent employment in, and contribute to, the sustainability of Ecuador’s travel and tourism industry. Moreover, the 3-year program which will be implemented in 21 schools in the country’s capital Quito and the province of Manabi, targets 53 officials from the Ministry of Tourism (MINTUR) and the Ministry of Education (MINEDUC), as well as 72 in-service teachers.

The program aims to upgrade the teachers’ technical and pedagogical competences through a combination of training, peer learning and remote coaching that focuses on what to teach and how to teach it. In addition, the program is set to develop teaching materials which highlight the importance of sustainable tourism, bring structure to the content of the selected teaching modules by providing highly organized lesson plans and instructions for competency-based teaching. The program also aims to support students with relevant and practical experience during their studies by providing them with project-based workplace learning opportunities.

Speaking about the new program, Annina Mattsson, Programs Director at Dubai Cares said: “The opportunities for employment of young people in Ecuador are hampered by an education system that does not equip them with the skills required, as well as limited access to work experience. Since Ecuador’s travel and tourism industry has been growing rapidly and is expected to further increase its contribution to both GDP and employment, our program aims to prepare Ecuadorian youth for these employment opportunities and to contribute to the development of this economic sector”.

“Technical and Vocational Education and Training is now a key component in our programmatic interventions focusing on youth due to the strategic role it plays in advancing sustainable development”, she added.

Caroline Decombel, VVOB Program Manager in Ecuador said: “We are very proud to collaborate with Dubai Cares in Ecuador. With the Skilling for Sustainable Tourism project, we are committed to improving technical education for tourism students in Quito and Manabí. Past experiences in the country have shown that our approach of linking technical schools with the private sector to provide relevant education opportunities is effective. With the valued support of Dubai Cares, we can further improve this approach, apply it to the field of sustainable tourism and prepare for scaling. We look forward to the graduation of a newly skilled tourism workforce. This will not only positively impact these young graduates and their future employers, it will also boost the tourism sector in Ecuador in an eco-friendly way.”

Ecuador is doing well on several indicators of human development, but poverty is widespread. Youth between the age of 15 and 29 account for around one quarter of the population, an age group marked by high levels of underemployment and unemployment, as well as precarious working conditions. According to The National Institute of Statistics and Census (2015), 11.3% of youth are unemployed and 53.2% are “inadequately” employed, as the education system does not prepare them with the skills they need for success after school.

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