WASHINGTON, January 15th, 2015 – The World Bank Board of Executive Directors approved today a new US$425 million project for Argentina that seeks to promote quality job opportunities for 540,000 young adults living in vulnerable socio-economic conditions. The project will provide job training, intermediation and other employment services.
Particularly, the project will support the expansion and strengthening of the Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Security’s Jóvenes con Más y Mejor Trabajo [Youth with Greater and Better Job Opportunities] program. The aforementioned program is aimed at unemployed adults between the ages of 18 and 24 that have not completed secondary school, and find it difficult to gain access to the formal labor market.
“This new project reinforces the path chosen by the National Government. In this decade, Argentines aged between 18 and 24 have seen their job situation improve significantly. We have gone from a 33 percent unemployment rate in 2003 to around 17.9 percent ten years later. We know that a lot still needs to be done, we know that this is the correct path, a path with greater integration, with more education, and jobs,” said Carlos Tomada, Argentina’s Minister of Labor, Employment and Social Security.
Currently, approximately 22 percent of urban youth in Argentina are neither working nor studying. This means 1.4 million young people, of which more than 1 million have not completed high school. Moreover, these young adults face high unemployment levels. Young women are the most affected, with an unemployment rate that is 37 percent higher than that for their male counterparts.
“Most of these young adults come from low income families; that is why it is important to invest in their human capital, facilitating their access to quality jobs to improve their future outlook, and their capacity to contribute to society’s development,” said Jesko Hentschel, World Bank Director for Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay.
The project will focus on three areas:
- Improve the quality of guiding and training services, supporting the delivery of a comprehensive training services package (including basic and professional skills) to improve the capacities of participating youth.
- Consolidate the coverage of Youth with Greater and Better Job Opportunities Program, financing part of the economic assistance received by program beneficiaries while they take part in training activities.
- Strengthen the performance of the network of employment offices around the country, supporting the Ministry of Labor in strengthening such offices in 360 municipalities of the country, focusing its efforts in obtaining concrete results.
The project will be financed via a variable-margin US$425 million loan, with a 32.5-year maturity period and a 7-year grace period.