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The effort is not only to create jobs but also to create the best possible jobs throughout the entire country. Therefore, the Federal Technological Education Network not only is growing as never before in history, it also is moving ever more into the backlands, blazing development trails throughout Brazil, spreading knowledge far beyond the major urban centers, training a qualified labor pool with a crucial detail: it is based on the natural needs of the labor market in each region. Professional training goes where it needs to go, ensuring better jobs and wages and helping correct historical social and regional inequalities.
People from the backlands know it well. Those who do not live there cannot imagine how hard it is to leave one’s birthplace, family and friends to study in another city in search of a better future. Many would even like to go, but for lack of circumstance they wind up abandoning their vocation and their dream. The expansion of the Federal Professional Education and Technology Network is transforming this reality by offering young people the opportunity to change their destinies without leaving their homes, or traveling just a few kilometers to the nearest campus.
Besides the expansion of the Federal Vocational and Technological Education Network, Brazilians throughout the country have another great opportunity to change their lives: the National Program for Access to Technical Education and Employment (Pronatec).
Created in 2011 by the Dilma government, Pronatec has received 7.6 million enrollments from 4,145 municipalities — 1.3 million of them low-income earners, beneficiaries of the Brazil without Poverty program. By the end of 2014, there will be 8 million students registratered. Pronatec offers two types of courses: technical (up to two years), for those who have concluded or are attending high school; and vocational training (up to six months) for workers who want to grow and learn a new profession.
President Dilma recently launched the second phase of the program, Pronatec 2. It will offer 12 million vacancies in 220 technical courses and 646 training courses as of 2015.
• The pathway to the future
Pronatec offers more than 500 courses. Among the long duration courses, the most popular are workplace safety technician, information technology, logistics, nursing and mechanic. Among the professional qualification courses, lasting up to six months, the busiest are administrative assistant, computer operator, human resources assistant, electrician, basic English and receptionist.
All courses are free and students also have the right to books, uniforms, materials for practical class work and meals and transportation assistance. Pronatec seeks to meet regional manpower training demands. In the Amazon, for example, the most popular is the computer technician course, due to the proximity of the Duty Free Zone. In the rural regions, the courses range from plant and flower nursery careers, organic farming and large farm machinery and irrigation systems operators.