In the 1960s, many Latin American countries sought to raise their level of manpower training to improve the quantity and quality of enterprise performance and workers’ living conditions. Argentina, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Uruguay created new national vocational training services, with technical assistance from the International Labour Organization (ILO), based on close collaboration with workers and employers and dedicated to the training of apprentices and adult workers. However, the tasks of organizing those services, preparing and publishing training programmes, developing the skills of education personnel, and studying installations and equipment represented a great effort in research and a good deal of adaptation among participating countries. The need to disseminate the experience throughout the region soon became apparent. (http://www.oitcinterfor.org/en/general/origins-and-history)
Towards a Solution
At the request of Latin American countries, ILO set up the Inter-American Centre for Knowledge Development in Vocational Training (CINTERFOR) in 1963. The aim of the Centre has been to create a permanent learning and South-South and triangular cooperation community among vocational training institutions, disseminating knowledge, experiences and good practices in the field of vocational training and skills development.
CINTERFOR now has over 65 member organizations in 25 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean in addition to Spain and Cabo Verde. It offers a vast network of expertise, know-how, skills training and partnerships into which countries tap to achieve a skilled, knowledgeable, highly employable and productive workforce and address issues relating to human resource development. It is a specialized centre that articulates and coordinates the largest, most prestigious network of public and private institutions and entities devoted to strengthening professional skills. One of its primary tools for knowledge-sharing is its online community.
In its approach, the Centre: (a) promotes and strengthens horizontal cooperation for the institutional development and modernization of vocational training; (b) contributes to the design and management of vocational-training public policies in line with decent- work principles; (c) develops a learning and knowledge management community in vocational training; and (d) promotes vocational training-related research. It actively promotes and facilitates cooperation, coordination and exchanges between its member institutions and other entities, facilitates dialogue on issues at the regional and global levels, and helps to establish and strengthen links between its members. It systematizes and shares knowledge and practices generated from these exchanges and collaboration, and it is a key partner in updating the knowledge management platform available in the world of vocational training. It offers a platform of services that includes:
- A teaching resources bank: access to over 12,000 resources. After the contribution of the Brazilian National Service for Industrial Training (SENAI) in 2009, the contributions of other vocational training institutions in the network were added. The value of these resources is beyond measure not only in monetary terms but also because of their content, quality and relevance;
- A database of experiences: experiences in fields such as the use of information and communications technology (ICT) in training, improving productivity, social dialogue and competency recognition;
- A database of skills profiles: access to over 6,000 occupational profiles, identified and validated by social partners, in numerous countries and different productive sectors. Curriculum designs and means of evaluation and certification are also available;
- A database of specialists: over 150 curriculum vitae of professionals are accessible, most of them connected to the vocational training institutions and ministries that are members of the network; and
- Communities of apprenticeship and practice: CINTERFOR coordinates several virtual forums and practice communities.
CINTERFOR is an avant-garde South-South driver in Latin America, having created a regional network in the 1960s. Today, the organization focuses on researching, designing and disseminating the most innovative approaches to development through vocational training. Capacity-building and training lie at the heart of its work and thus guarantee the assimilation and long-term sustainability of its projects. The Centre promotes capacity-building and the development of national training institutions, vocational training as a tool for social inclusion and social dialogue in vocational training. It has been one of the main partners of SENAI, including through joint projects on vocational training and youth employability. The CINTERFOR model is replicable and able to be expanded to other countries and regions. Ingredients for its success are political will and the readiness to engage and share.
CINTERFOR beneficiaries and partners include youth, professionals, academia, educational institutions, technical and vocational schools, and the ministries of education of its Member States. It receives technical support from ILO and financial support from its Member States.
Sustainable Development Goal targets: 4.3, 4.4, 4.5, 8.2, 8.3, 8.5, 8.6
Countries / territories involved: Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, Spain, Cabo Verde
Supported by: Member States
Implementing entity: ILO
Project status: Ongoing Project period: 1963 to present
URL of the practice: http://www.oitcinterfor.org/en
ILO Focal Point, Inter-American Centre for Knowledge Development in Vocational Training ; firstname.lastname@example.org