Cover Image
close this bookThe Transition of Youth from School to Work: Issues and Policies (IIEP, 2000, 188 p.)
close this folderChapter II. Training unemployed youth in Latin America: same old sad story? by Claudio de Moura Castro and Aimée Verdisco
View the documentIntroduction
View the document1. On the elusive art of training
View the document2. Training to improve employability: experiences from Latin America
View the document3. Lessons
View the document4. Conclusion: are youth training programmes still a good idea?


This paper explores training programmes targeted to disadvantaged youth in Latin America. Examples are drawn from Chile Joven, Proyecto Joven (Argentina) and PLANFOR, the National Plan of Professional Education in Brazil. The idea of these programmes is politically appealing and some have been successful. Relatively reliable data show that youth find jobs in those occupations sufficiently close to those for which they have been trained. Such success is particularly noteworthy in that the record for similar experiences implemented around the globe has been mediocre.

This paper compares the projects in terms of the quality of training provided and the targeting mechanisms used; a larger theoretical context within which these projects can be located is also presented. Thus compared and understood, some interesting results emerge: the two 'Joven' projects are strong on targeting but turn out to be weak on the quality of the training courses they provide. PLANFOR courses, by contrast, tend to be of good quality but poorly targeted. Thus, risking an exaggeration to illustrate the point, whereas Chile and Argentina offer well-targeted training of relatively poor quality, Brazil offers good training with weak targeting mechanisms. Each system could learn from the other.