Thousands of people are applying for aid from a state training programme while the OECD is urging Mexico to make a special effort to promote university studies
Mexico has launched the ‘Youth Building the Future’ programme aimed at people aged 18 to 29 who neither study nor work with a view to training them for one year to improve their employability and paying them 3,600 pesos a month. “The idea is that this training will last one year and, once they have finished, the companies, workshops, businesses and the entire network of tutors can provide them with a certificate that certifies what they have learned and what skills and competencies they have acquired. Therefore, if they cannot keep that job, they will have a better chance of finding a job if they knock on other doors”, says the Secretary for Work and Social Welfare, Luisa María Alcalde.
This department has posted a website and has started creating a house-by-house census to receive applications to register. Since December, 1,100,000 young people have signed up to participate in this project. There are also 39,000 businesses interested in joining the programme, which can provide a total of 300,000 work experience openings.
In addition, together with the hours of learning and the money they will receive each month, the students will also have medical coverage and will be accompanied by a tutor in the company and by officials from the Department of Work and Social Welfare, who will monitor their progress and ensure that they go to work and have a good attitude.
The ‘Youth Building the Future’ programme has coincided with a request by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) for Mexico to make a greater effort to improve the skills of young people by promoting their access to university because businesses are unable to cover their vacancies due to a lack of talent. “Millions of young people are unable to find opportunities and thousands of businesses are frustrated because they say they are unable to find qualified people and the talents they need to improve their competitiveness”, says the OECD Secretary-General José Ángel Gurría.
Although the number of young people enrolled in higher education has doubled, 77% of people aged 25 to 34 do not have university studies even though this would benefit them. “Higher education graduates acquire skills that make them more valuable and productive in the labour market and that enable them to get the best jobs and wages“, says Gurría. A situation that is even worse in the case of women: “Young women are at a disadvantage. Even though more women graduate than men, their employment rate is 14 points lower than that for men. One of the highest employment gaps in the OECD”, says the Secretary-General.