El Salvador and The Bahamas were the last hosts of the series of international workshops on skills for productivity in Latin-America and the Caribbean, supported by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), that kick-started last year in Brazil and went on to Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Panama.
With the support of various organisations, among them the EU-LAC Foundation, the IDB held these eight international events, which counted with the experts on labour market management from Australia, Austria, Korea or the United Kingdom.
In Latin America and the Caribbean the existing mismatch between the worker’s training and the profile sought by employers, resulted in high unemployment rates, poor productivity ratios, and has created what the IDB calls a “bottleneck” that slows down economic growth in the region.
The Bahamas and El Salvador are not an exception. In the case of El Salvador, it is estimated that 141,000 young people aged between 15 and 24 whom are neither in education, nor employment, nor jobseekers, which amounts to 32.04% of the Salvadoran young people within that age group. The IDB and the international experts who shared experiences with the Salvadoran participants, among them the Minister of Labour Sandra Guevara, describe it as an “alarming” figure with major implications, since it is considered that unemployment is associated with the much present violence in El Salvador.
A similar mismatch of skills is identified in The Bahamas, where, according to a survey distributed at the TransFormation Workshop, 34% of the job applicants in the country are rejected as low skilled, 29% as lacking experience and 28% as lacking the minimum required expertise.
One of the IDB’s recommendations for the Bahamas, applicable to all the regions of the Caribbean and Latin America, is the implementation of continuous vocational training for professionals, one that transcends the knowledge provided at the educational establishments or at universities with the aim to meet business demands and to avoid “bottlenecks” that thwart growth.
For more information on this initiative please visit the official website here.