Latin America is taking huge steps in the long path it still has to travel to reduce its high youth unemployment rates, which, in some cases, are twice or even three times the general rate, and improve the quality of job offers in the region. Various initiatives are being launched thanks to economic subsidies from institutions and financial organizations. The latest example is the decision by the Multilateral Investment Fund of the Inter-American Development Bank to dedicate 1.7 million dollars to help the Forge Foundation to expand a model that seeks to improve the transition from school to quality employment for 14,000 young people in Argentina, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay.

The project is part of the regional New Employment Opportunities initiative, in which businesses, government and civil society are contributing resources, knowledge and skills to implement effective and sustainable employment solutions to improve the employability of poor and vulnerable young people in Latin America and the Caribbean. As in many countries around the world, getting a job is not enough to escape poverty. It is estimated that six out of ten young people who find a job have to accept informal employment conditions, which significantly affects their income, labour stability and protection.

Support from the private sector

The Forge Foundation is implementing an innovative methodology. On the one hand, it will work in partnership with the private sector and schools to strengthen the employability of young people. The involvement of these two agents is important because it enables students to receive humanistic and technical training for one year. Then, the foundation will accompany them during their employment integration process, preferably in companies belonging to the network – formal conditions – and for some time later.

The second innovative aspect is related to demand, as the project will increase and consolidate a network of 600 companies committed to youth employment. Finally, there are plans to transfer this method and knowledge to at least two public-private organisations, working in partnership to improve the scale and quality of employment services for young people.