A road full of obstacles for young people to get their first job
SANTO DOMINGO. When Jose Emilio Bencosme was 18 and finishing high school he got a scholarship (90%) at the Monterrey Technology Institute in Mexico to study International Relations. The young man felt that this career path, being multi-disciplinary, would facilitate getting a job.
Emilio returned to the country after graduating in December 2011, but so far he has not obtained any employment. Much like Emilio, in 2013, 32.17% of the young people between 15 and 24 were unemployed. (Expanded Unemployment Rate-which includes those that are looking for a job-or the open rate, which in 2013 was 16.85%, and those that after looking for work and not obtaining any, get discouraged and stop looking). In 2012, this number was 30.50%.
Unemployment begins to decrease as a person grows older: Last year the unemployment rate for people between 25 and 29 was 18.34%; that for 30-35 was 12.34% and for persons over 35 it was 8.07%.
When he came back to the country, Emilio “was sending out between one and three CVs a day for six months.” Those were sent to the public sector, the private sector and Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs). In some NGOs-he says-they asked him to work as a volunteer for a few months, a condition he never has accepted.
Bencosme knows French, English, and basic creole. Since 2012 he has studied Dramatic Art because he is interested in projects of cultural promotion through the theatre and he has obtained two diplomas related to international cooperation and the anthropology of conflict. But when he goes to look for work, many times they ask for his labor experience. Being without a job and still studying is for him, just another disadvantage.
According to the “Study of demand for professional technicians” carried out by the educational consultant Jacqueline Malegon for the National Association of Young Entrepreneurs (ANJE), the principle problems at the moment of contracting personnel are the poor academic preparation, the lack of experience, the weakness in areas of competence such as leadership and management, and the gap between the theory and practice. The study by Malagon was presented last February.
However, the poor academic preparation does not appear to be Emilio’s problem, who obtained one of the three best averages in his graduation class at Monterrey. The experience is an issue, since he says that the total of his internships does not amount to a year.
Emilio says that he has been depressed, but has a “positive outlook”. Together with a friend, he has presented a proposal-already approved-that will allow him to put into practice his ideas.
One year looking for a job
Julibel Guerra is 22 and in the last year of her studies in Economics at the public university. For nearly a year she is trying to get a job, but her attempts have been fruitless: she has not experience.
When she began to study, at 18, she agreed with her parents not to look for work so she could study more. Now she is finishing her graduation thesis and is facing problems of entering the labor market. “I am very anguished because I am about to graduate,” she commented.
She has not had the “opportunity to do an internship because they are very difficult to find.” She has only done volunteer work in the labor market,” she said.
She has a diploma in Econometrics and is doing an Intensive English course. She would like to specialize in projects, and she also loves statistics. When she has some labor experience, Julibel would like to do a Masters Degree overseas.
Guerra and Bencosme indicated the abandonment experienced by their contemporaries: Julibel believes that the young people do not have many opportunities in the country; Jose Emilio, that “there are no focused public policies” for generating jobs for the young people.
Education and the market
According to a January 2013 report by the OIT (the International Labor Organization), called Growth, employment and social cohesion in DR, the country needs to create a “virtuous circle” in coordinated policies to bring together education, professional training and productive transformation. This implies updating programs of university study according to the expansion of the occupations and the activities of the sectors. The OIT study stresses the lack of adequate training in technologies, professionals and engineers and in the administrative areas, which only have a medium level of preparation.
Category: DR News |