SUPERATEC: Creating Overcoming Opportunities through Employment for Youth at social risk

SUPERATEC: Creating Overcoming Opportunities through Employment for Youth at social risk

Venezuela
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Budget: 
$500,000 - $1 million
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

It is my wish to provide for employability opportunities in the formal market to young people with low financial resources. Formal market meaning positions in well-structured companies that allow them to develop their career. Taking SUPERATEC’s Job network experience, I want to replicate it in other countries, in order to show that a young person from underprivileged communities does not necessary need to choose a trade, but to find instead a decent job after receiving comprehensive training in three mainstays: human, technological and work formation, which enables them to keep excelling themselves. Superatec’s Job network has worked as a link, benefiting more than 2500 young people in Venezuela.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Communities engaged by SUPERATEC: Antimano, La Vega, Catia and Petare, in Caracas, and Cagua in the countryside, are mainly D and E strata of the population. They are people who live in homes where the income does not reach two family shopping baskets, situation that is considered poverty in our country. They live in precarious housing, made of very basic construction materials, and suffer the lack of some of the basic services (water, phone line, garbage collection). Generally formed by 5 or more family members, they coexist in reduced spaces, with family overcrowding. For these reasons, it is common to find youth pregnancy, promiscuity, child abuse and drugs. High-school desertion reaches 60% due to several reasons: need to work for family support, staff shortage plus consequences derived from middle education curricula which makes little contribution for employment and youth productive insertion. SUPERATEC’s commitment is to serve as a bridge between middle education and their first formal work experience, and at the same time promoting higher studies continuance through its alliances. SUPERATEC has incorporated program graduates who currently serve as center facilitators and assistants, giving them the opportunity to continue with their professional development, therefore promoting program’s sustainability.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

The innovative element lies on the fact that, besides training, we close the cycle with employability in formal market job positions. This is possible thanks to our Job network, which includes 110 hiring companies and an 80% enrollees’ placement rate. Over 1500 young candidates have been placed to date. There are different organizations working on youth employment within “Venezuela Aliadas en Cadenas” and CECAL. The first one supports exclusively women, achieving only an internship completion which in many cases is not paid. The latter trains young candidates with no school education in trades, and it does not ensure their placement. Nowadays, our results show young applicants who have reached middle-management positions and accomplished university degrees.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Since we contact young students from middle schools last years, we started to work with them on universal values, self-knowledge and life project, technological formation as a tool for life; and we provide them with personal tools in order to make their first formal work experience successful. Superatec’s 3-month Training Program, based on these three mainstays: human, technological and work formation, promotes changes in youth so they represent a differential population when they enter the labor market. Once they finish the program, they enroll in the Job Network, where we commit to placing them in their first job. During one year, SUPERATEC follows-up young persons who attend their higher studies and those who apply through the Job network. Hiring companies’ testimonies show that program’s young graduates are more responsible, with a better and more self-improving attitude, which leads to a lower rotation rate, in comparison to those who did not attend the program. SUPERATEC Formula has proved to serve as a bridge from at-risk adolescence to productive adulthood, through a non-conventional training program.
About You
Organization:
SUPERATEC A.C.
About You
First Name

Marilyn

Last Name

de Silva

About Your Organization
Organization Name

SUPERATEC A.C.

Organization Country
Country where this project is creating social impact
How long has your organization been operating?

More than 5 years

The information you provide here will be used to fill in any parts of your profile that have been left blank, such as interests, organization information, and website. No contact information will be made public. Please uncheck here if you do not want this to happen..

Innovation
What stage is your project in?

Operating for more than 5 years

Share the story of the founder and what inspired the founder to start this project

Founder’s name was Herman De Kesel, a Belgian who arrived to Venezuela in the 70s and lived approximately 15 years in the country. His way to express his gratitude was to make a dream come true: a social program, aimed at young people from working-class areas, using technology as a tool and a Job network to promote financial independence. At that time his dream was called “The Venezuelan Computer Training Project”. He had later the chance to meet Universidad Catolica Andres Bello’s directors, who expressed their interest in supporting the project by giving a very important suggestion: to incorporate human education. That is how SUPERATEC (which, in Spanish, stands for Personal Overcoming through Technology) started its work. Herman had been one of my first bosses in the management consulting company and then I spent several years without news about him. When he came to Venezuela by the beginning of 2002, he talked to me about his dream and invited me to be a volunteer. In December 2003 he was diagnosed with cancer and died in April 2004. That is how I adopted his dream and it became my passion since then.

Social Impact
Please describe how your project has been successful and how that success is measured

We have a measuring system called SIMEDIMOS which collects all program’s quantitative indicators, including employability. In addition to this, through the results from the “Community Actions”, which are to be made by the young candidates at the end of the Training Program, we measure the program’s immediate impact on the candidates, since human formation sessions’ learning is materialized in actions that show the topics worked on values and citizenship, such as Drug Addiction, Family Violence, Alcoholism, Child Abuse, Child Pornography, Indigence, Environment Contamination and Recycling.
On the other hand, the Job Network is a direct impact measure, since program graduates are followed-up during 1 year. Therefore, we have achieved to confirm the following indicators: out of 1600 young candidates placed, 72% continue to work beyond the trial period, over 700 continue with their college studies, 35% both study and work and 40% of the contributing companies have hired program graduates through Superatec’s Job network.
Finally, we show future impact through hiring companies’ testimonies, who state that SUPERATEC graduates make a difference, proving to be young individuals with values and overcoming desires, beyond this population’s current standards. This young candidates’ employment has benefited over 6500 people.

How many people have been impacted by your project?

1,001- 10,000

How many people could be impacted by your project in the next three years?

More than 10,000

How will your project evolve over the next three years?

SUPERATEC is signing a partnership with CDI, a Brazilian NGO that uses technology as a tool to fight poverty and inequality, promote entrepreneurial spirit, develop work abilities and create new generations of transformation agents in 13 countries. SUPERATEC will turn into a CDI new region, and it will take the programs from Venezuela to Central America, Andean Countries and the Caribbean, supporting Job network’s effectiveness in a new youth employment site, backed by Bumeran’s platform which is present in all Latin America. Hence, we expect to support SUPERATEC-CDI’s regional growing.

Sustainability
What barriers might hinder the success of your project and how do you plan to overcome them?

Since our founder passed away, SUPERATEC has had to struggle with financial fragility. Until now, we have managed to cover the operative budget year after year. However, we are making efforts to strengthen that area. Therefore, we have developed resource generation mechanisms, among which we have (symbolic) contributions from each participant, as well as short seminars we offer to companies and organizations which allow us to produce operative income. To date, 34% of our income comes from self-management.

Tell us about your partnerships

SUPERATEC has set up partnerships with community organizations, the academic sector, the corporate sector, social development organizations, universities Universidad Catolica Andres Bello, Universidad Metropolitana and Universidad Monteavila, with the purpose of developing program’s continuous renewal, program’s conduction perspective, mandatory university communitarian service and sponsorship for our graduates.
We have collaborated with Parque Social Padre Manuel Aguirre, Vicaria Nazareno, Colegio El Carmelo, Centro Comunal Catia, and Instituto de Previsión del Niño for the establishment of training centers and the engagement with benefited communities. They all provide space, basic services, maintenance and security for the centers.
We have promoted the program in Sucre, collaborating with the city government for its staff’s training and for transport and police custody services in the center at Petare.

We have also set up alliances with 20 education entities (public schools) for the enrolment of our participants (both students and teachers of those institutions). We additionally receive financial contributions and/or professional services, and also counseling from over 50 sponsor companies.

Explain your selections

Training and operation costs are 80% covered through projects by companies and foundations, and there are also citizens who act as individual sponsors.
On the other hand, 13% of the cost is sustained through self-management programs (tailor-made courses given to companies and local and regional governments) and 7% is provided by our beneficiaries (symbolic contribution for program’s enrolment). We additionally receive non-monetary contributions, such as the centers’ computers (donated by HP) and Microsoft Software.

How do you plan to strengthen your project in the next three years?

Partnership with CDI represents leverage for SUPERATEC in terms of global contacts and availability to new financing sources which were not reachable before. CDI’s replication methodology will provide us with new ways to open new centers and influence on more people in Venezuela, Central America and the Caribbean. There are already institutions that are committed to support us in regional projects for program’s expansion, such as CAF, HP and Microsoft, and we are working on a “hybrid model” that incorporates SUPERATEC and CDI’S best practices, both in training and employability, which is our strength. In fact, the First Youth Employment Site in Latin America is already under a test period, conducted by SUPERATEC and supported by the recruiting company in Bumeran’s Web Site http://superatec.bumeran.com.ve/ . This will represent another source of income for the program.

Challenges
Which barriers to employment does your innovation address?
Please select up to three in order of relevancy to your project.

PRIMARY

Underemployment

SECONDARY

Lack of skills/training

TERTIARY

Lack of access to information and networks

Please describe how your innovation specifically tackles the barriers listed above.

Problems faced by SUPERATEC are found in system tools training, crucial for labor market access, and also empowerment of each individual’s personal capability, so that they are able to absorb it and prepare themselves in a better way from the human point of view, in order to get a job or have access to higher education. This is accomplished through Follow-up and Employment Management, where over 110 cooperating companies hire our graduates, offering them their first work experience in basic positions.

Are you trying to scale your organization or initiative?
If yes, please check up to three potential pathways in order of relevancy to you.

PRIMARY

SECONDARY

Enhanced existing impact through addition of complementary services

TERTIARY

Leveraged technology

Please describe which of your growth activities are current or planned for the immediate future.

Currently in progress or planned for the immediate future: 1) enhancement of the geographical scope, through an exploratory research currently taking place in Peru and Ecuador for which civil society organizations, government organizations and private companies are already identified, and they are interested in replicating Venezuela’s experience; 2) short technology training programs in progress, aimed at influencing other community actors; 3) youth employment site currently being implemented, aimed at Latin America.

Do you collaborate with any of the following: (Check all that apply)

Technology providers, NGOs/Nonprofits, For profit companies, Academia/universities.

If yes, how have these collaborations helped your innovation to succeed?

Collaborations with the above-described institutions have helped us in: increasing the number of participants -therefore reaching a larger target, including corporate volunteers, improving Superatec and program’s visibility, offering sponsorship to our graduates, obtaining top technology for our program, as well as impacting sponsor companies’ influential communities.