Tuprimerapega.cl is a Chilean entity that supports the employment of young people. They not only has join to the International Campaign of the Youth Employment Decade, but also lead the Chilean Regional Committee. We spoke with Javier Krawicki, founding partner of the organization.
– TuPrimeraPega was established to help young Chileans to find their first jobs. What are their major shortcomings and how do you help them to overcome them?
Certainly, the lack of training is a key factor when it comes to looking for a job. Young people fail to see the importance in having a good CV or they downplay the importance of knowing how to approach a job interview; these are clearly the points that can help or hinder a person during a selection process. On the other hand, let’s not forget that looking for a job is hard work and intense, and some people do not have the self-control and support to deal with difficult moments and failures. Consequently, TuPrimeraPega.cl was established to cater for these young people: to help them during selection processes (prepare CVs, career guidance, training for job interviews and familiarisation with selection tests). Regardless of the fact that these services, headed by consultants who are experts in human resources, are free and personalised, young people are also monitored by and receive support from consultants who provide advice as long as it is needed and become occupational psychologists and support them in everything related to labour issues.
– What type of advice is most frequently required: preparing CVs, preparing job interviews, career guidance or selection tests?
The most frequently demanded service is drafting CVs and training for job interviews. Apart from the services provided, young people are very open to continuing their relationship with TuPrimeraPega.cl, thus achieving the aim of assisting them in all stages of their working life and becoming their occupational psychologists. Once they get a job, they still have lots of doubts, concerns, barriers regarding employment and they seek our support to obtain advice and assistance. This monitoring/advice is also personalised, as each person is unique and needs to be treated as such. And the service is one hundred per cent free.
– New services have been added in recent years, such as a employment exchange or free on-line courses organised with Microsoft. Are they as successful as expected?
Opening our employment exchange has clearly been one of our greatest success stories. Today, any young person can not only have access to training offered by experts, but they can also apply for job offers from large multinational companies based on their profiles. Thanks to TuPrimeraPega.cl, young people have everything they need to find their first jobs in the most effective manner or get the job they want. The entire service is completely personalised and free. TuPrimeraPega’s employment exchange is the perfect contact point between businesses and young people all over Chile. Regarding Microsoft, this was clearly a key alliance for us and for all young people because, through the portal, they can all have access to free courses certified by Microsoft on all Office 365 programs, as well as other on-line courses such as “I can program”. They can do all this from home. This alliance had a very important impact on young Chilean because being able to learn how to use these tools for personal use and for work does not only make their daily lives easier but also provides them with additional skills and knowledge that can be seen as additional strengths when looking for a job.
– What type of job offers are handled through the website?
The offers are from large multinational companies and the contracts are all backed by the Ministry of Work. The jobs offered are for first jobs, for which young people can apply easily without the need to register. The purpose we pursue at TuPrimeraPega.cl is to make life easier for young people and, therefore, all our services are practical, dynamic, free and personalised. It is very advantageous for companies to publish their job vacancies with us because we not only reach a large number of young people at a national level; we also monitor all the candidates that apply for each job.
– What sectors are most widely represented in the employment exchange?
Most of the companies we work with belong to the field of gastronomy and retail; we are gradually becoming a referent for this field of employment. We understand young people’s needs and the needs of companies; therefore, we work hard in bringing talents and companies together so that they can choose each other.
– The obstacles young people have to overcome to find a job tend to be similar. Do you plan to extend to other countries in the region?
The obstacles in Chile are clearly very similar and they are closely related, among other aspects, to the lack of training for employment. In addition to this, organisations must understand that generations change and young people’s preferences change, to the point that any organisation that works with young people must adapt how they cater for them (from how they can be attracted to how they can be trained and motivated). Apart from this, public policies should promote decent work or ensure that work does not lead to the loss of certain benefits because, in many cases, young people prefer to study rather than work so as not to lose those benefits.
Our goal is to be a model of youth employment in Latin America and, therefore, as part of this plan, we are going to continue exporting this amazing project with the aim of helping more and more young people. We have received several proposals to explore other countries in 2016.
– Chile is one of the most highly developed nations in Latin America. What percentage of young people are unemployed?
The unemployment rate fell in 2015 once again, Unemployment stood at 5.8 per cent between October and December last year, 0.3 points when compared with the previous quarter and 0.2 points less for the same period in 2014.
In Santiago, the unemployment rate fell to 6.8% in December 2015, 3 points less than in September last year. With one of the highest rates in the OECD, youth unemployment in Chile is more than twice the overall average. The figure stands at 14.9%. Although the overall rate of unemployment at national level is 6.4%, young people are having serious problems finding jobs.
We must not forget that there are currently almost 580,000 NEETs in Chile, which seriously increases the rate of youth employment.
– You have recently signed an agreement with the Novia Salcedo Foundation to head the Regional Committee of the Pegasus Campaign in Chile. How are you approaching the challenge of working in favour of the Youth Employment Decade?
This alliance with the Novia Salcedo Foundation in support of the Pegasus campaign is clearly a great challenge that we are committed to leading since young people are the present and the future of their countries and the truth is that we should be in this alliance together and join the campaign in order to become stronger and achieve our social goals for young people. TuPrimeraPega.cl contributes its tiny grain of sand to society and this is part of the essence of Pegasus. By proclaiming a Youth Employment Decade, all organisations and countries will have a great challenge ahead to help young people integrate in the work market and also to help government and non-government organisations to generate awareness regarding the important and key role young people play in society.
Among many other challenges, the spotlight should be placed on improving the training of workers and on changes to the educational system and the labour market. On the basis that the work dignifies companies, many young people today do not know how to look for a job and/or they are not trained to deal with the process of finding a job. This undoubtedly has a great impact on what has been mentioned above because they then become frustrated and decide to give up.
It is clear that the priority is to promote dual training initiatives and encourage dialogue among the many stakeholders involved in youth unemployment. The social inclusion of young people is also key to sustaining democracies around the world.
Broadening the participation of young people and integrating them in terms of education, communication and decent work will strengthen their social inclusion. Once again, from the basis that all work dignifies, we must make a great effort regarding these aspects because a person who is working is on an equal footing with their peers.
We must change the idea that young people are a problem and understand that they are an opportunity, not a burden. Young people should be a priority on the agenda of all organisations. They are the present and the future of a country and, therefore, we must invest in them. This is why we must work with young people and this, to a large extent, is the challenge posed by the Pegasus campaign.