(Expansion) – Youth is a key stage in a person’s life. From a work perspective, these are the years in which decisions are made to acquire knowledge and develop skills that can be decisive for the professional future.
Unfortunately, statistics in Mexico show that a part of young people do not enter the labor market, despite having a higher level of schooling.
According to a , there are almost 2.7 million young people who do not work, even if they wanted to. This is equivalent to 12% of the people between the ages of 15 and 24 who live in our country.
Of the 2.7 million, 609,000 actively seek a job and cannot find it, which is equivalent to an unemployment rate of 6.4%, which is almost double the average rate for all ages (3.5%). The rest are young people who would like to work, but are no longer looking for a job, mostly because they don’t think they have any hope of getting one.
I have two hypotheses to explain why there is so much wasted young talent. The first is due to lack of experience. It is common to read in vacancies “freshly graduated and experienced personnel are sought”, which is even perceived as an absurdity that results in an enormous challenge for young people. Time is a limited resource, so a person who invests his time in studying will have less time available, in the best of cases, to accumulate work experience.
This, in turn, could be a factor that drives the majority of young people who do find jobs (67%) to accept them under informal conditions, that is, without a contract or without access to social security. This is worrying, since and get higher income in the future.
My second hypothesis is related to the first, and is that young people are reaching higher educational levels, but there seems to be a disconnect between what students learn at school and what productive organizations need.
Today’s youth is better prepared than before. While six out of 10 young people have completed high school, only four out of 10 people from the previous generation (40-49 years old) have reached this level of education. Despite this, Mexico is one of the countries with in Latin America. Why? Probably, because the educational services are not of quality, nor do the programs respond to what recruiters require when hiring.
This panorama is a wake-up call for all the actors, but it is even stronger for the federal and state educational authorities. Given the demands of the current economy, it is not enough to bet on a higher level of schooling. It is necessary to invest in better study programs, which are based on the needs of the productive sector and that facilitate the possibility of developing experience that is highly valued in the labor market.
Comprehensive actions are urgently needed to take advantage of young talent and ensure that they have a professional future with greater opportunities.
Editor’s note: Fátima Masse is Director of the IMCO’s Inclusive Society. Follow her on Twitter as . The views expressed in this column are solely those of the author.