sena_brings_nccer_lgBy Amy King, Communications Manager for NCCER NCCER programs have been utilized in countries outside of the U.S. since the beginning through domestic Accredited Training Sponsors. However, as the first international NCCER training sponsor, Servicio Nacional de Aprendizaje (SENA) began delivering NCCER training in 2013 at the request of Ecopetrol – the Colombian government-owned oil company. At the time, Ecopetrol was looking to introduce a workforce development program through SENA, its training partner and the technical college system in Colombia. Because of NCCER’s globally recognized, standardized training and credentialing process, becoming an NCCER training sponsor was the ideal choice to help SENA improve the country’s competitiveness through safety, productivity and sustainability. To achieve this goal, SENA teaches NCCER’s Core Curriculum along with level training in Boilermaking, Scaffolding, Pipefitting, Ironworking, Insulating, Welding, Electricity, Instrumentation and Concrete Finishing for free to aspiring craft professionals in the oil and gas industry. So far, over 5,000 workers have received NCCER training. In addition, NCCER credentials have helped workers find employment opportunities in areas throughout Colombia, as well as outside the country in Guatemala, the Dominican Republic and Peru. Since becoming an NCCER training sponsor, SENA’s position as a world-class organization that fosters labor mobility nationally and internationally has strengthened. Established in 1957, SENA provides technical training to Colombian workers and accelerated training to adults for careers in the oil and gas, agriculture, mining and ranching industries. The purpose of SENA’s national system of learning is to expand the country’s social, economic and technological growth. By 2020, SENA hopes to be a world-class, comprehensive training institution that can advance competitiveness, reduce poverty, create effective careers and provide an innovative workforce to businesses throughout Colombia and the surrounding regions. Therefore, SENA has established policies to strengthen its relationships with national and international institutions – such as NCCER – to implement training processes with industry-recognized standards and provide programs that meet the needs of a globalized economy with highly competitive labor markets. Over the last six years, SENA has implemented different collaboration agreements to develop the workforce in Middle Magdalena. Currently, an effort is underway to develop and implement a strategy for training in Barrancabermeja to fully train workers of various specialties under national and international standards for the oil and gas industry. This training strategy will be focused on strengthening the quality of life and skill level of residents within the city. The expansion plans  of SENA’s Center for Industrial and Technological Development in Barrancabermeja include advancing strategic alliances and working with industry to credential craft professionals in high-demand occupations. SENA is currently in the process of adding an NCCER Accredited Training and Educational Facility in the Colombian city of Cartagena. To accomplish this, SENA has trained instructors in Cartagena through NCCER’s Instructor Certification Training Program. This expansion is part of SENA’s goal to improve productivity and competitiveness among Colombia’s workforce, which can result in greater economic security and reliability from the construction of national and international megaprojects. The industry-education partnership between SENA and Ecopetrol has helped to reduce the workforce shortage in the Colombian oil and gas sector by enhancing the skills and employability of youth and incumbent craft professionals in Barrancabermeja.  With an expansion to Cartagena planned in 2016, SENA’s NCCER accredited training program will continue to positively impact the workforce as recognition of the value of globally portable, industry-recognized credentials grows throughout Colombia, Latin America and the world. Cover1605For the rest of the story, read the full article in NCCER’s Cornerstone magazine.

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About NCCER

NCCER develops standardized construction and maintenance curricula and assessments with portable credentials. These credentials are tracked through NCCER’s National Registry which allows organizations and companies to track the qualifications of their craft professionals and/or check the qualifications of possible new hires. The National Registry also assists craft professionals by maintaining their records in a secure database.