Diageo Introduces 'Learning For Life' Program

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 program has now supported over 100,000 individuals across 35 countries.

MIAMI (PRNewswire) — Diageo celebrates the success of its Learning for Life global training program, 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 created in response to growing levels of youth unemployment. The program has now supported over 100,000 individuals across 35 countries.

Learning for Life is a program implemented in partnership with local educational, governmental and training organizations 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 program aims to offer first work experience to approximately 70 percent of program participants with all programs tailored to the demands and peculiarities of the local market, thereby ensuring the best possible route to securing long term employment.

The program was created by Diageo Latin America & Caribbean (LAC) 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 programs in over 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 truly worldwide program.  

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 program. 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 Janelle Prieto, Global Skills & Empowerment Manager.

Learning for Life is an innovative and one-of-a-kind initiative as a result of its commitment to bringing long-term value to all those involved with the program, by providing 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 truly 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 life-long brand ambassadors.  It also allows us to work in partnership with our customers, our employees, governments, NGOs, training agencies and program participants and their families. It is both the right thing to do and it is good for business." 

Lambkin continued, "We are very proud on behalf of all those involved in reaching this significant milestone and we look forward to continuing to roll out Learning for Life programs into new communities worldwide."

In 2012, Diageo, in partnership with Florida International University School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, expanded the program to the United States with the launch of Learning Skills for Life in Miami, Florida. Since 2012, the Miami program has concluded eight sessions and has graduated more than 300 participants. Over 250 of these participants have accepted internships or full-time positions with employers across South Florida.

Earlier this year, a Learning Skills for Life initiative also launched in Norwalk, Connecticut.  Since commencing in May, the Norwalk program is preparing to graduate its third class, with a fourth to begin training in January.  The Norwalk program has achieved 100 percent retention to date, and a 71 percent placement rate for graduates, in either internships or full time employment with local businesses. On the heels of the success in Norwalk, Diageo will be expanding the North America program to Houston, Texas in 2015.

All Diageo markets operating a Learning for Life program today will be hosting local celebrations in recognition of the more than 100,000 lives the program has helped to transform.

About Diageo

Diageo is a global leader in beverage alcohol with an outstanding collection of brands across spirits, beer and wine categories.  These brands include Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, J&B, Buchanan's, Windsor and Bushmills whiskies, Smirnoff, Ciroc and Ketel One vodkas, Captain Morgan, Baileys, Don Julio, Tanqueray and Guinness.

Diageo is a global company, and our products are sold in more than 180 countries around the world.  The company is listed on both the London Stock Exchange (DGE) and the New York Stock Exchange (DEO).  For more information about Diageo, our people, our brands, and performance, visit us at www.diageo.com.  Visit Diageo's global responsible drinking resource, www.DRINKiQ.com, for information, initiatives, and ways to share best practice.

Celebrating life, every day, everywhere.