Can Brazil be a powerhouse in education? With technology, yes

How investment in training and technology can make Brazil reach the world elite in education.

One question I always hear is: why does the iFood Are you looking into education if you are not an education company? Firstly, because education is the most powerful tool we have to generate opportunities for those who do not have this chance at present. Furthermore, we understand that we can bring a greater return to society: by investing in social impact, we contribute to building a better world.

In Brazil, the education scenario is worrying. Pisa, which is the international student assessment program, shows that we are among the 20 worst in the world ranking, and this data was greatly worsened by the pandemic.

Thinking about the future, this means that there will be a lack of qualified professionals for the country to be competitive in the new economy. And in the near future: a study by Fundação Getulio Vargas estimates that the deficit of technology professionals will be more than 300 thousand people by 2024.

The world is going through a digital revolution, and we need to prepare people for it. I think Brazil has the opportunity to be side by side with other world powers, but first it is necessary to invest in education.

Thinking about that, iFood signed the UN Global Compact (United Nations), in 2021, reaffirming our commitment to follow the Sustainable Development Goals, which include, at the top of the list, ensuring access to quality education. And, with this, we help to achieve another important objective: the reduction of inequalities, since education is a lever for social transformation and income generation.

Our ambition, however, goes much further: we want to be the company with the greatest impact in this area and provide educational opportunities to transform the lives of more than 10 million Brazilians by 2025, five years before the deadline proposed for the Objectives of Sustainable Development.

Through the iFood Takes Off, our pillar of education, we want to make Brazil a powerhouse in technology by training and employing 25 thousand people in the area of technology, impacting 5 million students and public school teachers in the areas of mathematics, science, engineering and technology (or STEM) and training another 5 million Brazilians for the work of the future and entrepreneurship.

Therefore, we decided to act on three fronts. It all starts at the base, providing access to quality content and supporting the structuring of curricula, especially in technology, to improve public basic education.

In practice, this means, for example, supporting the 1Bi Foundation, which is part of the Movile Group and developed the AprendiZAP, a free learning tool through WhatsApp that is already being used by 230,000 students and 30,000 teachers across the country.

Already at the front we call Tech Talent, we want to reduce the technological blackout that surrounds Brazil by training 25 thousand low-income people in the area of technology so that they are prepared to embark on the new economy. In October we will launch a training and employability platform in tech with leading partners in the market, we will bring more news soon.

And in front Future of Work, we work with the development of skills that the market demands today – and will demand even more in the future. To this end, we have entered into partnerships with organizations such as PROA, SESI, Conquer and Niduu to develop the skills that will be essential in the new economy, starting our look at our ecosystem, delivery drivers, restaurants, markets, their employees and their families.

These are just a few examples of the projects that we started in 2021 alongside several partners, with whom we want to learn the best format to scale this impact across Brazil and reach as many people as possible.

Education allows us to transform what are currently our weaknesses into strengths and opportunities. That's why iFood talks so much about education: this is our way of contributing, from now on, to a better and more equal Brazil in the future.

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