How can disadvantaged communities design and participate in skills-based and lifelong learning opportunities to create productive and prosperous livelihoods in the 21st century?
Skills are the global currency of the 21st century. The ability to acquire new skills throughout life, especially technical, social, and critical thinking skills, is crucial for full and equitable workforce participation. Throughout the Latin American and the Caribbean region, countries are already making strides to improve lifelong learning opportunities, investing in work-based learning, certification programs, and informal education. Chile and Brazil are designing labor information systems to detect and anticipate skill shortages; upskilling and reskilling programs are being launched across Mexico; the Bahamas is piloting apprenticeship programs; and Honduras is exploring alternative certification schools to create better education and employment opportunities.
The skills gap in Latin America and the Caribbean continues to be the widest in the world. Lack of accessible, affordable, high quality, and effective learning opportunities means that two out of every five youth are not in education, employment, or training — with girls from vulnerable households disproportionately represented. Learning achievement levels remain low by international standards, with rural youth less likely to attend school and more likely to drop out than their urban counterparts. At the same time, around 50% of formal Latin American firms cannot find local candidates with the skills they need and thus rely on applicants outside the region.
With this in mind, the demands on teachers and educators of all types are more complex than ever. While essential to providing learners with the lifelong skills and knowledge they need to reach their full potential, these instructors are too often undervalued, inadequately trained, and poorly supported.
Building on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 4, the TPrize Challenge seeks to find and support tech-based solutions to close the skills gap and promote lifelong learning opportunities across Latin America and the Caribbean. To do so, TPrize is looking for innovators with promising solutions from around the world who are either already working in, or planning to expand to Latin America and the Caribbean, that:
- Deploy new and alternative learning models that broaden pathways for employment and teach entrepreneurial, technical, language, and soft skills
- Provide equitable access to learning and training programs regardless of location, income, or connectivity throughout Latin America and the Caribbean
- Support and build the capacity of formal and informal educators to better prepare Latin American and Caribbean learners of all ages for the jobs of today and tomorrow
- Utilize data to better understand employer needs and better inform policy, resource allocation, and skills of the future
Awards:- Up to USD $100,000 in prize funding is available for the TPrize Challenge.