Facebook has launched a training center in Brazil which is aimed at entrepreneurs and coders with a view to encouraging young Brazilians to pursue careers in technology. This comes amidst high unemployment levels in South America’s biggest economy following an economic crisis. The training center is expected to bridge the gap between a generation lacking skills but with the time and a tech sector which is in need of skilled talent.
According to Diego Dzodan, Facebook’s Latin America vice president, the training center will be located in Sao Paulo and will be referred to as Escatacao Hack in Portuguese. In English it translates to Hack Station.
“Imagine the opportunity. You’ve got people without a job, so they can’t afford training. And yet there’s so much demand for positions that the market can’t fill,” said Dzodan in an interview with Reuters at the Latin America headquarters Facebook.
In Brazil one in four youths aged between 18 and 24 have more formal education compared to their parents but they held no jobs at the beginning of the year owing to the economic downturn which has been described as the worst in the country ever.
Social impact projects
Facebook’s training center is expected to be launched later in the year and offer not just free coding courses but digital marketing workshops, entrepreneur training and career guidance. In its first year 7,400 Brazilians are expected to benefit. Hack Station will be similar to other outreach projects the social media giant has started in other countries such as Paris’ Startup Garage which was launched earlier in the year. Hack Station will however be tailored for the Brazilian market. As proof of this Hack Station will offer mentoring and workstations for entrepreneurs whose projects have a social impact.
Facebook is not the only firm that is looking to tap into the tech-savvy subculture in the most populous country in South America at a time when real estate prices have slumped. Last year in June Alphabet started Google Campus Sao Paulo and is also provides free community events, entrepreneur training and mentoring for startups. Earlier this month Itau Unibanco, a Brazilian bank, revealed that its Cubo initiative which offers tech startups co-working space and which is conducted in conjunction with Redpoint Ventures would be quadrupled. Consequently the initiative will starting mid next year be housed in a 12-floor tower.