Mexico: President’s Program Will Help Train Young Adults for the Workplace

 

By Jorge Jáuregui February 27, 2019
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Mexico is making a major investment in the education and workforce training of its young adults.

The country's new president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who has been in office since Dec. 1, 2018, has launched a nationwide program called Youngsters Building the Future. 

This unique program will provide training and skills development for one year to 2.3 million jobless young adults between ages 18 and 29 who are not in school, plus educational opportunities for 300,000 high school graduates. The Mexican government will pay each participant the equivalent of U.S. $200 each month to attend training programs at volunteer companies. They will be trained in areas such as information technology and soft skills.

After a year, each company will decide if it can hire one or several of the trainees.

Approximately 40,000 companies will participate in this program.

Program Objectives

The program objectives include:

  • Involving young adults in on-the-job training activities.
  • Giving young people the opportunity to attend universities through monthly scholarships.
  • Keeping young people away from unemployment and anti-social behavior.
  • Speeding up the training.
  • Including the private sector in social-responsibility activities to develop young adults.

[SHRM members-only toolkit: Introduction to the Global Human Resources Discipline]

Modalities

The program focuses on education and job training:

  • Education: The program will benefit 300,000 high school graduates who seek to attend universities. Mexico's Public Education Ministry will coordinate it, guaranteeing access to higher education, and give a monthly scholarship to low-income youth while they continue their university education.
  • Job Training: The program is also aimed at 2.3 million other young people who are not pursuing university education. Mexico's Labor Ministry will operate it, linking young people to workplaces where they will receive training. The program beneficiaries will receive a monthly grant of the equivalent of approximately U.S. $200 for up to one year.

Platform

For the implementation of this program, a technology platform will be developed that stores all information and will automatically connect the young adults, according to their interests and place of residence listed in their profile, with available jobs. At the same time, the platform will monitor the progress of each participant and follow up on the performance of the program.

Training at Work

Beneficiaries of workplace training will be young adults between ages 18 and 29 who are neither working nor studying. They will be directed to the workplaces available, considering their interests and place of residence.

Training

The program will be implemented through collaborative agreements with the private, public and social sector (approximately 70 percent, 20 percent and 10 percent of agreements, respectively) and some business associations. There will be monitoring to prevent the replacement of an existing worker.

Trainers who will support and train the participants will be designated at the workplaces.

The trainers should have experience in the area they are coordinating and maintain frequent contact with the participants.

The trainers will:

  • Receive online training about the program, the use of the platform and tutorials.
  • Evaluate the participants every month during the training.
  • Follow the training regulations established for the acquisition of specific competences.

Training Plan

The trainer will be able to propose his or her training plan, so long as it is oriented to the certification of an ability or competence; otherwise, Mexico's Labor Secretariat will provide the guidelines according to each case.

Monitoring and Assessment

There will be a mutual assessment by the trainers and participants, which will be carried out every month through the platform.

Certification

Successful participants will receive a certificate attesting to the acquisition of abilities and competencies.

General Conditions

General program conditions depend partly on payment, medical services and whether participating companies are "socially committed companies" (see below).

Payment. The economic support is given directly to the participants. This support will not be given through the staff of the program, but through a financial institution.

Medical services. All the participants will have health insurance, provided by Mexico's social security, to cover work risks and illnesses.

Certification as a socially committed company. The Labor Secretariat will recognize companies that join this program as socially committed companies.

Movements. Participants will be able to request a change of workplace just once, and the request should be duly justified. A workplace will be able to request the removal of a participant, so long as there is cause for such a request. If a participant is removed twice, he or she will be removed from the program. At any time during the training, the tutor will be able to formally hire the participant and end his or her participation in the program. Additionally, the tutor will have the option of requesting a new program participant.

Jorge Jáuregui is immediate past president of the World Federation of People Management Associations. He is also a former president of the North American Human Resource Management Association and of the Mexican National Association of Human Resources (Asociación Mexicana en Dirección de Recursos Humanos AC--AMEDIRH).

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