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UNEVOC Centre in Focus: National Institute of Apprenticeship, Costa Rica

INA students training to become chefs © Asesoría de Comunicación, INA
Introducing the new feature of our Bulletin: UNEVOC Centre in Focus This issue’s “UNEVOC Centre in focus” is the National Institute of Apprenticeship (Instituto Nacional de Aprendizaje, INA).

The INA is an institute for technical training and skills development and also the coordinator of the Latin American cluster of the UNEVOC Network. The institute’s main task is to offer free training in skilled trades to anyone over the age of 15, with the intention to promote economic development and to contribute to the improvement of life and work conditions of the Costa Rican people. INA’s mission is to increase the productivity of workers in all sectors in the economy. The institute aims to achieve this through training, skill development, certification, and accreditation for sustainable, equitable and productive high-quality work. In 2013, INA trained 133,060 students in its 57 centres across Costa Rica.

UNESCO-UNEVOC spoke to Mr Fernando Rodriguez Araya, who is the focal point for the UNEVOC Centre INA, to find out more about the institute and the work of the UNEVOC Centre:

Technical training © Asesoría de Comunicación, INA
What are the key priorities for your UNEVOC Centre and what has been the biggest benefit of belonging to the UNEVOC Network so far?
"Our priorities as a UNEVOC Centre are to expand the knowledge network and exchange best practices among the other members of the Network. We also try to identify new centres to strengthen the Latin American cluster. A huge benefit of being part of the UNEVOC Network is that we can share knowledge and research worldwide. At the global level, many of the UNEVOC Centres have developed research and projects that can be replicated in other regions of less economic and social development. We at INA have the advantage of knowing these developments first hand and try to implement them in our centres."

What have been some of the recent highlights and challenges for TVET in Costa Rica?
"In Costa Rica and specifically at INA, our work focuses on skills-based training, innovation in course design, greening and green jobs, management indicators, and tourism. However, a major challenge in our work is to reduce social gaps and to tackle youth unemployment through job training. We try to overcome these challenges by running short programs in high demand sectors and emerging labour markets. We also attempt to address socially disadvantaged populations, such as indigenous, migrants and disabled people in order to facilitate their upward mobility."

Can you share some key activities planned for this year?
"We aim to continue with the implementation of specific cooperation programs with Central and South American entities in areas of mutual interest. Moreover, we are looking to further exchange successful experiences with global experts attending and supporting seminars and workshops, to enhance the skills of our teachers and students. We also strongly encourage our participation in the WorldSkills competitions, which are a great way to promote TVET in Costa Rica and celebrate young talent in the country."


INA website

Would you like to see your UNEVOC Centre featured here? Please contact us at mailto:unevoc(at)unesco.org for more information

This interview is part of the UNEVOC Bulletin, the newsletter of the UNESCO-UNEVOC International Centre. To read the Bulletin, please click here,and to subscribe to the Bulletin, please fill out this form.

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