Ricardo Pineda Vila – EduEMPLEA

NxG Award 2017 Finalist

Ricardo Pineda Vila

Member Association: Colombia
Project description: EduEMPLEA increases productivity/competitiveness of  companies through tailored-made vocational training, enhancing professional and personal development of individuals, by intentionally integrating three key players intentionally: teachers, students and companies.
Year initiated: 2015


How does your project provide a solution to a problem or satisfies a specific need?

EduEMPLEA has three working lines or services:

1. Education FOR employment: Prepare/train people (operative and medium-level staff/personnel) in two weeks, before entering a job, so that they have the skills  they need to work efficiently, so that companies find people as they need them and turn-over rates decrease

2. ON the job training: Train employees to solve specific challenges in their companies. Companies have many challenges that need to be addressed by job training such as: productivity deficit, poor client service, low sales, high turnover rate, bad work environment, lack of leadership in low jobs, bad management of personnel, and people that can’t work efficiently because they are not good with themselves, among many others. Once we understand the challenge that a company has, we design an educational program that solves it.

3. Corporate Technical Schools: Design, implement and operate training centers within companies to increase their productivity and work according to each company’s culture, values and needs.

In these 26 months of operation, EduEMPLEA has shown that educating makes sense and is relevant. Until now, we have:
– trained 10.706 students from 64 companies in different skills
– 603 high qualified teachers that are part of the “School of Teachers”
–  Generated more than $200.000 USD productivity-related savings in companies
– Increased talent retention by 34%
– a 90% project repurchase rate


How do you create customer value?

EduEMPLEA creates customer value in Colombia:

1. Access to education: Since EduEMPLEA programs are paid by companies, employees have access to education that otherwise they could not afford because of their income level. The courses offered by EduEMPLEA, focused on basic, technical 21st Century skills  generate social impact on individuals. For example, courses such as “Life Project”, “Leadership”, “Teamwork” and “Personal Finance” (which are some of the most  popular courses so far) have positively impacted the students both in their professional and personal development.

2. Employment Generation: EduEMPLEA has generated more than 603 indirect jobs through linking people with great knowledge and skills to its teaching staff (“School of Teachers” ).

3. Talent Retention: It affects both companies and employees, as labor stability is uncertain and the productivity of the company is compromised. The education for employment programs that EduEMPLEA provide strengthen the capabilities of employees, generating a better quality employment, consistent with the needs of the company. Thus, there is a win-win relationship between the employee and the company, allowing companies to retain talent that is already trained and replicate that knowledge instead of having a high turnover rate.

EduEMPLEA is an innovative business-level project that ís having a great impact in Colombia by revolutionizing the vocational training and the education for employment. We are convinced that every person in Latin America (and hopefully in the world) should receive a high quality, pertinent and relevant education in the way EduEMPLEA does it.


How is your project innovative?

We decided to work on 4 elements to develop a competitive advantage:

1. An innovative educational model based on:
– Integral Education: By mixing basic skills (professionalization, life project, personal finance), technical skills (sector-specific) and 21st century skills (leadership, teamwork, problem solving, creativity, effective communication, etc.) we educate and form integral human beings in work and in life with a high growth potential.
– Learning by doing: Our educational courses/programmes are 80% based on doing. Under this methodology, the retention can reach up to 90%.

2. Tailor-made education:
By understanding the specific challenges of each company, we design a pertinent job education programme that solves them. The training is done in the workplace (so that employees learn in the context of their company and with their day-to-day tools) and in the schedule that best suits the company.

3. School of teachers:
>We have a community of more than 603 teachers who come from three sources: traditional teachers, empirical experts of any job, and retired people who have a lot of knowledge and experience. This allows EduEMPLEA to offer a high quality education, but above all, EduEMPLEA becomes a center of opportunities for teachers, where they develop their teaching skills, share knowledge between them and receive job opportunities.

4. Impact measure:
In order to demonstrate the importance of job education and the quality of work in EduEMPLEA, we have a tool that measures the impact of our training programs on both business productivity and employee development. With this tool we have seen personal growth in employees.


How do you plan to grow, scale, and expand the impact of your idea?

We want to expand all over Latin America. In just two years, we are already in  Colombia and Ecuador.


What is the most valuable mistake that you have made, and what did you learn from it?

Hire a teacher that did not fit the project. I learned a lot about putting the right teacher at the right company. The client loved how we managed the situation, how we changed the teacher for a better one and we learned about pedagogical empathy.