Published On: Mon, Jun 3rd, 2013

First certificates of Global Language Center awarded

Kolaborativo1WILLEMSTAD - In a dignified and happy ceremony at The Lodge Kura Hulanda and Beach Club at Westpoint on Saturday, 1st of June 2013, the participants who passed their exams with success received their certificates for the first series of a course in English and horeca technology of the Global Language Center of Foundation Pro Kolaborativo. The Global Language Center is designed for adult global language learners who need to improve their ability to communicate orally in everyday, social, academic and professional situations, learning technical language and conversational language customized for the learners. The aim is to increase the probability of securing a job as well as job advancement in hotels in the area in which they live.

In a pleasant atmosphere the graduation of the first group was celebrated. Out of the participants originally selected as likely candidates, 52 persons successfully completed their exams. Various dignitaries, and representatives of Kolaborativo and their partners from AMFO and The Lodge Kura Hulanda directed words of congratulations to those who passed the course.

The first course had a duration of 10 weeks and was gratis. During the course, the participants learned social skills as well as basic techniques of how to use computers such as are used in companies in the horeca field. This part of the course had a completely practical base, using computers such as I-pads making use of wireless applications for the hotel and restaurant business.

The lack of global language skills has been identified by unions and employers as one of the top reasons for persons in this sector not being able to sustain employment, while VBC and CHATA employer surveys have indicated that this is also one of the top reasons that persons can not advance across many sectors. The Department of Education also reports that there is a steady decline in students graduating who have sufficient global language skills. Therefor there are persons currently employed who need to learn the global languages after employment and need to continue to develop those skills for use in their workplaces.

The Global Language Center aims for our local workers to become more employable, and to motivate others in the neighborhood seeking work to seek global language courses in order to become more employable. This is aimed at decreasing the need to import workers from other countries to fulfill jobs within those sectors which require global language skills and technical language skills in a global language. For the horeca sector, languages identified to be able to deal with main streams of visitors are English, Spanish and Dutch.

Beneficiaries of the work of the Global Language Center are the workers themselves, their employers, the sector and the economy at large.

One of the requirements for participating in this first course was that the employee had to live in the Banda Abou area. In an aspect unique for Curaçao, participants who did not have transport or a place to look after their kids during the days of the course, the organizers arranged for transport as well as a child care facilities. By helping the interested people to overcome the barriers to their progress, the project proved to be successful.

The instructors, Mr.Kenneth Hooten and Mrs.Brenda Beaujon-Meiboom, reported that the participants found the course to be very valuable and that this provided an incentive for them to follow additional training as a result. The provision of child care was of great help to them and the transport always ran on time. All services provided originated in Banda Abou.

As part of the effort to help the candidates to overcome the barriers to progress, eight business and labour leaders from Kolaborativo took time out of their busy schedules to travel to The Lodge Kura Hulanda and assist the candidates in preparing for job interviews and getting their personal employment data organized. This proved to be a valuable experience for all involved.

From Kolaborativo, Mr. Pablo Zimmerman of CGTC noted that we are proud to have a 91% completion rate, and Mr. Kenneth Valpoort of Horecaf pointed to the value of our local people to strengthen their participation in the local horeca sector. Much more work needs to be done in this area. Kolaborativo looks forward to repeating the course, for which there already is a growing number of interested people, and also expanding the course with additional cooperation from the businesses within the horeca sector.

There are now 40 persons who are on a waiting list in Banda Abou, hoping that we will repeat the course.  Of the 52 who completed, 40 indicated that they would like Kolaborativo’s Global Language Center to offer a second level course to them.

In the meantime, the Global Language Center will be monitoring the progress of its candidates to secure jobs in their chosen field.

Ivan Moreno, Jr., Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce is proud that finally this project has been realized, since it has been a while that Kolaborativo had prepared it for execution. “We trust that now that we have shown the urgent necessity of this type of education that funds will be made available to continue with this investment; please note we use the word investment and not expense or cost. Our citizens of Banda Abou as well as those of Banda Ariba have the desire to continue with these types of courses, and they have a right to be educated. Nowadays both the English language and computer skills are basic tools, without which it’s almost impossible for a person to obtain employment.”

Joop Kusters, who represents VBC in Kolaborativo reflected: " As Kolaborativo, we can look back on a successful Global Language Project where, besides the academic part, other logistical aspects of the daily necessities of the participants were fully taken care off. These graduates will now have a better chance of stepping into the labor market and/or climb up the labor ladder.

At the same time, we regretfully look back with sadness in our eyes, knowing that many other projects that were funded by AMFO have also come to an absolute end and that by July 1st many people (+- 400) of all walks of life will lose an income and job. Probably a rhetorical question: Is our present economy strong enough to absorb these people in our labor process?"

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