DIAGEO and its Learning for Life program arrive in Cartagena

DIAGEO, 03/02/2015

  • 60 young people from some of the most underprivileged neighborhoods of Cartagena will receive continuing education courses in table and bar service and cocktail making from SENA [Servicio Nacional de Aprendizaje – National Learning Service] through the Learning for Life platform.
• The program seeks to guide and strengthen the skills of the program’s young beneficiaries through courses that will enable them to access the job market.
• Learning for Life will work together with the Carlos and Sonia Haime Foundation, the Serena del Mar Foundation, the National Learning Service (SENA) and Give To Colombia.

DIAGEO reiterates its commitment with Colombia through the release of its Learning for Life (L4L) program in the capital of Bolívar, where underprivileged youth will be trained for a year to improve their possibilities of finding a job and their quality of life.
The program, which will initially focus on the townships of Manzanillo del Mar y Tierra Baja, will allow 60 young people to receive training by means of courses to strengthen their working abilities and their personal skills.
Through the project, these young people will receive training in table and bar service as well as in cocktail making, in addition to psychosocial support, which is essential to strengthen their life skills. Likewise, recognizing that working abilities are increasingly important, L4L includes a tool to improve both teamwork and social skills.
"The platform provides the education and training required to give young people, aged 18 to 30, the opportunity to get a job that will allow them to become part of society and become active and respected members of their community. In Cartagena, we will start with 60 people and this year we aim to impact 700 young people across the country," said Gregorio Gutiérrez, CEO of DIAGEO Colombia, during the launching of L4L Cartagena, which was held in the headquarters of Carlos and Sonia Haime Foundation, in Manzanillo del Mar, during Monday’s afternoon.
The manager also explained that Learning for Life will open in Cartagena pursuing three objectives: to help reduce the high levels of unemployment in the region, to promote greater opportunities for education, and to capitalize on the growing offer of jobs in the hotel industry in the city. This is how DIAGEO seeks to inspire and transform the lives of these disadvantaged youth, by giving them tools to become part of society and part of the workforce. Participants will receive one-on-one tutoring, where needs and weaknesses will be identified, 200 hours of supplementary education in cocktail making and table and bar service, for which they will receive their respective diploma issued by SENA, and a life skills course from the Carlos and Sonia Haime Foundation.
In this order of ideas, with 11 years of experience in the social sector, Give To Colombia organization will be responsible for following up on Learning for Life Cartagena, from the project management phase, to the monitoring of resources, and covering also the development of reports that show the result in terms of progress and achievements, fulfilling standardized parameters.
"The goal of our Social Responsibility programs is to transform lives by fostering talent and leadership, thus contributing to sustainable social development of the countries in which we operate. Likewise, and in order to provide a necessary link in the value chain, once the L4L program cycles culminate, we continue to support these young people in finding employment to the greatest number of business linkages, for we have developed important alliances with major customers of restaurants, bars and clubs, who in turn have demonstrated commitment and passion for L4L platform, hiring many of our graduates”, said Gutiérrez.
In Colombia L4L has benefited young people in Bogotá, Medellín, Barranquilla, Cali and now Cartagena. Today, the platform has successful examples of young people who have represented the country in several bartending competitions, such as World Class Competition, the most important mixology competition in the world, in which Colombia has always stood for innovative talent of its participants.
Learning for Life is thereby consolidated as a project that benefits young people, their towns and the industry. Thanks to the preparation they acquire, practice and work experience, L4L beneficiaries have the possibility to improve their income and be more attractive in the market thanks to the experience and strong skills they acquire through practice. Likewise, in return for this professional talent linked to the labor market, hospitality and food sectors are assured to have qualified and prepared personnel in these disciplines.