Local Youth Employment and Inclusion in Argentina: A Public-Private Initiative for the Development of Talents, Social Cohesion and Inclusion
41 Pages Posted: 25 Jul 2012
Date Written: February 2, 2012
The Youth with a Future (YF) Program is part of the initiative for decent work promoted by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security (MLE&SS) in the context of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). It as a public-private model of institutional innovation aimed at sustainable development through actions meant to promote responsible sub-contracting and outsourcing, develop of employability of the youth in vulnerable social sectors, and disseminate a culture of social responsibility that encourages social dialogue.
The YF Program – the result of systematic, committed efforts in workshops – implements high-quality, innovative projects with significant social impact to promote employment among youth. It was designed jointly as a training and development program to enable practices in leading global companies that operate in Argentina and seeks to provide a coordinated response to the labor-insertion problems among youth in vulnerable social sectors and to build institutional links to the quality labor market via improved levels of employability and social capital.
Given the structural nature of youth poverty and the conditioning that it imposes on formal labor insertion, the program institutes a multi-dimensional response considering not only labor experience but also formal education, the acquisition of qualifications through practices in real work environments and the engagement and cultivation of a culture of quality labor, heightening these young people’s personal values and hopes for the future.
The intervention strategy’s modus operandi is likewise innovative. Conceiving of decent work as a constructive and dignifying bond for the individual and of the company as a primordial space for that bond’s realization in society, the program calls on broad-based social participation. It involves a multi-sector alliance (government, companies, and NGOs) to provide a solid social infrastructure. In effect, the training’s workplace quality is guaranteed by the participation of the company’s human resources and pertinent technical areas plus high-level tutors and corporate volunteers, all indispensable for the program’s successful realization. It is an innovative case within the emerging tendency towards Collaborative Entrepreneurship (Miles et al. 2005; Rocha and Miles, 2008).
The capacity to create mechanisms for overcoming poverty and social exclusion is also a new contribution. The creation of these mechanisms is based on building bridges between society’s dynamic economic sectors and its excluded, vulnerable segments. Deactivating customary individual and organizational barriers between those social universes enables a transmission of the formal corporate context’s work-related values to those more unprotected sectors, simultaneously managing to add a social perspective to the economic vision of corporate strategies of employability. The program thus fits in with the emerging tendency towards aligning human motivations, goals of public-private organizations, and social needs (Rocha, 2006a; 2008).
To date, after four years of implementation, the results of the programme are promising: 68% of the participants hold quality employment, a percentage that is 48% higher than in the comparison group (youth with secondary school diplomas and from the same geographic area, but who did not participated in the program); and the participants have an average monthly income that is 2.7 times higher than that earned by employed youth without secondary school diplomas who reside in the Buenos Aires metropolitan area, and 1.7 times higher than that of those of the same urban area who have finished secondary school.
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