In Colombia, 17% of the 300 employees of Soletanche Bachy Cimas stopped their education at the end of primary school, and 12% of them are partly or completely illiterate. Struggling to read written instructions or understand machine operating instructions, is a handicap that means staff concerned have a much slower and more difficult career progression than others, which may in turn lead to a lack of motivation.
To correct this situation, Soletanche Bachy Cimas has defined a strategy of social responsibility, with education being one of the main thrusts. As part of this, and to reduce illetracy, the company has instigated a programme of accelerated learning for adults called “Let’s go to school”. This helps them to not only upgrade the technical skills of the collaborators, but boosts their personal development, with the added benefits of reducing the number of accidents, improving the quality of life of employees, and reducing the poverty rate.
In 2016, the programme’s first intake of 19 employees successfully passed exams at primary or junior-high level.
The initiative generates pride, recognition, a stronger sense of belonging, thereby helping employees to turn difficulties into opportunities to build a better country together. Further success was guaranteed for 2017-2018, when 31 employees signed up for the courses.