Over the last two decades, Latin America and the Caribbean countries have enjoyed economic growth, improved job creation and higher wages. However, many jobs remain informal, and high turnover impedes productivity, discourages employer investments in training, and contributes to inefficient job matches. Women and youth face particular challenges; they often look for employment through informal networks of peers who are equally vulnerable. In 2013, the bulk of Peru’s workers (59%) were employed in the informal sector, with informality impacting 80% of young people.
Employers are concerned by the low quality and relevance of the skills many young people bring to the labour market. Over two-thirds of Peruvian companies have difficulty filling their vacancies. When employers struggle to find workers with the skills they need or make poor matches, their competitiveness, ability to expand, and to innovate suffer. Public employment services (PES) are uniquely placed to be a job broker, yet among the Latin America and Caribbean countries for which figures are available, no PES reaches more than 10% of employers. Working with employers can help PES improve opportunities for being hired into formal employment, laying the foundation for employment relationships that offer employers improved productivity relative to labour costs, that can offerworkers the chance to acquire new skills, and that can provide governments a more sustainable revenue basis for social security.
This conference will bring together experts, business representatives and PES decision makers from around the world to share their challenges, experiences and successes in developing mutually beneficial relationships that supply employers with the right skills at the right time, improve PES capacity to predict labour market trends, and to assist job seekers, including youth, in finding formal employment, gaining skills in the workplace, and being more resilient in the face of periods of unemployment.