Coursera and Costa Rica Will Train 50,000 People to Confront the COVID-19 Crisis

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Coursera, an online education platform, will team up with Costa Rica over the next 6 months to train 50,000 people in the strategic and technical skills required for Industry 4.0.

This initiative is one part of a reskilling and retooling strategy that Costa Rica currently has underway, which defines three main areas for talent development: career management, soft skills, and technical skills. The project offers different learning routes, designed according to each user profile, to enable free access to courses from some of the most prestigious universities and companies in the world.

The project is the result of a collaborative effort between Coursera and the Ministries of Labor and Foreign Trade and CINDE (the Costa Rican Investment Promotion Agency), with the support of the International Development Bank (IDB), to energize the Costa Rican economy post-COVID-19 and insert itself into the economy of knowledge.

President, Carlos Alvarado, mentioned that this plan is one of the efforts being carried out by the government to reactivate employment, since it will allow thousands of people to access courses facilitated by prestigious international universities, from their homes.

He added that the nearly 40 learning routes that were defined “have been reviewed by different companies in the country, according to the profiles with the highest demand, which will allow the beneficiaries to improve their digital, strategic, and technical skills to strengthen their profiles.”

“The pandemic has affected hundreds of millions of jobs around the world, including the livelihoods of many Costa Ricans,” said Jeff Maggioncalda, CEO of Coursera. “We are proud to partner with President Alvarado, CINDE, the Ministry of Labor, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to provide displaced workers with access to job-relevant skills needed to reenter the workforce.”

Jorge Sequeira, Managing Director of CINDE, added that “this project is the first of many we expect to carry out, in collaboration with Coursera over the coming years. Its implementation reinforces the country’s commitment to innovate and provide a favorable climate for local and foreign investment, with a human talent trained both in digital areas and in strategic skills for employability.”

Each program user will receive support to complete their plan of study and certify their knowledge. Plans include digital, strategic, and technical skills, including programming, cybersecurity, sustainability, blockchain, artificial intelligence, entrepreneurship, and data science, among others. Learning path construction has been reviewed and validated by leading companies from various sectors, including multinational companies, with the goal of honing new knowledge and skills in key areas of business transformation, from Costa Rica and into the world.

According to the World Economic Forum, Costa Rica is the Latin American leader for human capital ratios and digital skills, which make the successful implementation of platforms like Coursera a natural fit. In addition, the country stands out for its dynamic ecosystem of multinational companies and local businesses, which together promote skill-development initiatives in their workforce, as a response to the current crisis.

In this way, Costa Rica strengthens its competitiveness and ability to attract investment, and positions itself as a key figure in Industry 4.0, in order to achieve a significant boost in economic recovery and job creation, for everyone affected by the pandemic, in sectors such as services, digital technologies, and tourism.

In order to opt for these free courses must be currently unemployed, have a high school degree and they must have applied to the assistance program “Bono Proteger”, which offers financial aid to those affected by the pandemic.

The alliance is also searching for companies that are looking to hire qualified personnel in certain areas during the next few months. Companies interested can send an email to [email protected]

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