Sun | Sep 23, 2018

Learning for Life transforms lives

Published:Friday | November 21, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Red Stripe's LeVaughn Flynn (right) greets reggae artiste Samory-I during the Learning for Life awards ceremony last Tuesday at the company's office.
LeVaughn Flynn (third left), corporate communications manager at Red Stripe, poses with past graduates of the Learning for Life course, Oshane Barrett (left), Lovette Gayle and Davion Holness. - Contributed Photos
Dianne Ashton Smith (left), head of corporate relations at Red Stripe, presents Sandra Golbourne with an award for the Social Development Commission's contribution to the Learning for Life programme at Red Stripe on Tuesday, November 4.

Diageo recently celebrated the success of its Learning for Life global training programme, an initiative from the global drinks company that was implemented to help individuals across regions develop their skills and build career opportunities.

Learning for Life is the cornerstone of Diageo's sustainability and responsibility strategy and was created in response to growing levels of youth unemployment. The programme has now supported more than 100,000 individuals across 35 countries, including Jamaica.

Learning for Life is a programme implemented in partnership with local educational, governmental and training organisations across the world. It provides valuable life skills and training to disadvantaged individuals in four key employment areas related to Diageo's industry and business value chain. These include bartending, hospitality, retail and entrepreneurship. In addition, the programme aims to offer first work experience to approximately 70 per cent of programme participants, with all programmes tailored to the demands and peculiarities of the local market, thereby ensuring the best possible route to securing long-term employment.

The programme was created by Diageo Latin America & Caribbean in 2008 as a sustainable and tailored approach to supporting individuals in the regions in which Diageo operates. Since that time, Learning for Life has grown to more than 75 programmes in more than 35 countries. Its initial success in LAC was followed by expansion elsewhere across the globe to locations across Europe and North America. It is now a worldwide programme.

At the core of Diageo's sustainability strategy, Learning for Life is an investment in individuals struggling for opportunity.

"We are proud of the progress of this truly transformative programme. Every day we are able to support the lives of thousands of people by providing them with the skills and training to find employment and make a better future for themselves and their families. In doing this, we are supporting the growth of local economies, on a global scale," said Red Stripe's managing director, Cedric Blair.

In Jamaica alone, the programme has graduated 11,500 participants.

Learning for Life is an innovative and one-of-a-kind initiative that provides the skills which will enable them to support their future working life.

Charlotte Lambkin, corporate relations director, Diageo plc, said: "Learning for Life is a great idea. In every market in which we operate, people need support and training in order to get good jobs to support themselves and their families. We are passionate about our commitment to sustaining our business and our brands. Learning for Life allows us to train people to work in the hospitality industry and become lifelong brand ambassadors. It also allows us to work in partnership with our customers, our employees, governments, NGOs, training agencies and programme participants and their families. It is both the right thing to do and it is good for business."