About the Project: 

The Forge Foundation is a non-profit organization created in 2005 to bridge the gap between middle education and the quality job market for low-income youths. Our focus is to train economically vulnerable youths in socioemotional competencies and technical skills for the work of the future. We operate in Argentina, Brasil, Chile, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay with more than 10,000 youths a year directly. In addition, we provide training to more than 5,000 public school teachers, thus indirectly reaching more than 300,000 youths in 2021. 

Context and Issue:

The difficult and precarious job placement for youths from low-income families affects the quality of life of present and future generations throughout Latin America.
• More than 100 million youths between 15 and 24 years old live in Latin America
• The unemployment rate for youths is 4 times higher than the rate of adults aged 25 and over.
• Half of the youths neither study nor work. • Of those who work, 50% do so informally, in precarious conditions and without social protection.
• 60% of employers state that candidates for entry-level positions are not properly prepared to perform successfully in their companies.

Solution and Impact: 

Forge focuses on reducing the impact of the social problem described through its Training and Work program aimed at young Latin Americans belonging to low-income segments. The program supports youths in their transition from school to the world of work, providing them with training, and job placement. The training program is focused on the development of key skills to allow youths get a proper job placement in formal and good quality jobs. These abilities are related to the development of soft skills, understanding them as a set of skills, attitudes and behaviors critical to achieve a good job performance (respect, communication, skills, empathy, team building, etc.) and a digital mindset.
In 2018, an independent impact study was conducted by Zigla Consultores, commissioned within the framework of the first project carried out by Forge with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and with the support of the International Laboral Organization (ILO). The research focused on the ROI (Return over investment) methodology, seeking to determine the return that companies have for hiring Forge graduates comparing it with that generated by employees who did not go through our program, in a similar position. The study was carried out in Argentina, Uruguay and Chile and showed that hiring Forge youths not only is being part of a good cause but it also generates a positive economic impact on companies. For each young Forge hired, a company obtains an annual return of up to USD 2,500. That figure is 6 times higher than the annual cost of a student who attends our program. Forge also trains public teachers to reach indirectly students in school classrooms. Both programs (for youths and teachers) were launched 100% online in 2020.

Future Developments: 

Forge transformed digitally, aiming to exponentially scale its model. We will create a transformative digital experience to reach all the youths in Latin America, integrating the access to the labor market, the skills assessment, the vocational guidance and the ongoing training. We will use innovative technological tools and gamified formats to reduce the gap between youths and public education teachers with the labor market.
February 21, 2021 (last update 04-18-2021)