Case Study: Building Economic Security for Women through Trades + Technology

  • Country Bolivia
  • Sector Education + Leadership, Gender + Social Inclusion
Executive Summary

Executive Summary

Client's Challenge

Low participation rates among women within the trades and technology sector is a global concern with far-reaching implications for national development. Bolivia’s challenge was far greater based on:

  • A historical underrepresentation of women within Bolivia's academic and industry community for trades and technology.
  • Immense and growing poverty outside urban and semi-urban centres, particularly among women, girls and historically-marginalized indigenous groups.
  • An evolving social compact where women more and more were looking to careers and economic empowerment ahead of traditional values of marriage and family.
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Our Solution

Working with several Ministries, a broad-base of employers and our Partner we introduced our staged capability building model which dovetailed with the national development strategy - to establish a comprehensive base of relevant training programs that could support national priority sectors and that would enable improved economic opportunities for women and men.

  • We completed a national sector scan and labour market assessment which triggered the need to develop new specializations in hydropneumatics that would link graduates to employment and respond to key sectors.
  • We trained management and faculty to understand and apply competency-based training within the classroom, focusing on curriculum design, learner-centred instruction and authentic assessment.
  • We engaged industry to understand skills gaps and from there, created faculty development programming that combined educational exchange, communities of practice and localized options for employment-driven education.
  • We built capability in our partners – from academe and government – to design market-driven programs that responded to industry needs and integrated gender and social inclusion, accountable governance and environmental responsibility as the starting point.
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Impact on the Client

  • The new programming has enhanced the quality and consistency of applied, immersive training and by consequence, our partner’s reputation as the go-to provider of industry-driven education and training.
  • Participation rates amongst women are starting to climb, due in part to national public awareness campaigns that promote the trades as a career path for women and girls, the emergence of newly-graduated cadres of women as career-driven technical specialists and a new policy focus supporting increased opportunity for women and girls in the trades.
  • Industry-Academic collaboration through the program design, educational delivery and graduate employment life cycle with new avenues to ensure industry stakeholders have a voice in the development of Bolivia’s human capital.
  • A strategically-critical position with the national development dialogue held by our Partner that is already improving the socio-economic well-being of vulnerable youth and women in Oruro.
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Investments in women’s education and economic development not only benefit women. They drive change and opportunity for families, communities and entire nations.


Niagara College Global Education and Training