Workforce Training: It’s the Law in Mexico

Changes to Mexico's labor law indentifies training as critical to national productivity

By Eduardo León de la Cruz February 24, 2016

Recent changes to Mexico’s labor law identified workforce training as critical to achieving national productivity gains at both the micro and macro levels.

Mexican labor law is among many reform efforts proposed and enacted during the administration of President Enrique Peña Nieto. Until these reforms began in 2013, Mexican labor law had remained unchanged for the most part since the 1970s. In recent years, however, economic and marketplace demands have pushed the government to take measures to increase individual worker productivity while also expanding national economic output. One of the outcomes of modernizing the nation’s labor law is that, today, workforce training in Mexico is the law.

Among the post-2013 legal reforms is a mandate that employers take specific measures to create, maintain and update the skill sets that enable all workers to perform their assigned tasks and prepare for their ascent up the value chain. Mexico’s Department of Labor and Social Welfare (STPS) made public several rules detailing what companies must do to comply with the new law. The four most noteworthy rules are described below.

Create an Internal Commission

Every company in Mexico employing 50 or more workers is required to create a “joint (or mixed) commission on productivity and training.” This is an internal group that must include an equal number of employer and employee representatives.

According to STPS guidelines, joint commissions perform the following functions:

  • Devise, implement and monitor workforce training.
  • Suggest and take measures to improve management-labor relations.
  • Review workers’ concerns regarding productivity gains or losses, as well as concerns related to the distribution of the fruits of productivity gains.
  • Provide input on training results as they relate to the case of specific workers, and make post-training recommendations regarding trainee retention or release.

To prove that such a commission has been formed within an organization, STPS has stipulated that company leadership complete Form DC-1, which can be shown to representatives of STPS should they inspect the workplace.

Develop Skills Upgrade Plans

Planning for individual skills development must be a routine and accountable part of workforce training in Mexico today. HR professionals in charge of training and skills development must describe training efforts being made by the organization on Form DC-1.

Training personnel must:

  • Define the objectives and content of training programs.
  • Identify and track the positions that will receive proactive training efforts.
  • Describe the procedure by which identified positions will be trained.

Track Required Skills

Companies must maintain a list of skills and competencies required for each position within the organization. This is true even for those companies with fewer than 50 employees. The STPS requires that employers record this information on its Form DC-4.

Document Completed Training

Companies must award certificates to trainees upon completion of training or the acquisition of position-specific competencies within the firm. Within four business weeks after completion of a training, employers must provide the newly capacitated employee with a completed STPS Form DC-3. This document provides information on the location of the training, a description of the type of training received, the period during which training was conducted, and identification of the party or parties that performed the training.

Individuals or companies that wish to learn more about legally defined workforce training in Mexico may contact the Tecma Group of Mexico Human Resources Experts at  

Eduardo León de la Cruz is Organizational Development Manager at the Tecma Group, which provides business solutions to manufacturers in Mexico. Reprinted with permission from the World Federation of Personnel Management Administrators.



Hire the best HR talent or advance your own career.


HR Daily Newsletter

News, trends and analysis, as well as breaking news alerts, to help HR professionals do their jobs better each business day.