The rigorous evidence on vocational training programs is, at best, mixed. For example, Markus recently blogged about some work looking at long term impacts of job training in the Dominican Republic. In that paper, the authors find no impact on overall employment, but they do find a change in the quality of employment, with more folks having jobs with health insurance (for example).
While Brazil faces a difficult fiscal and economic situation right now, I would like to view national progress on employment and incomes from a long-term perspective, which is valuable when addressing Education and Human Development issues in a broader sense.
The past decade has wrought numerous studies on youth training programs, especially in Latin America and the Caribbean. However, little research exists on they operate and their effects beyond the labor market. We spoke with Guillermo Cruces, of the Center for Distributive, Labor and Social Studies (CEDLAS) at the Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Argentina, about the Center's efforts to fill this hole by studying the Entra21 program in Cordoba in 2011-12.
Just as Tamires, Brazil wishes to score a dream goal – and it has got nothing to do with the upcoming World Cup. The country seeks to enroll 1 million people in the National Programme for Vocational Education and Employment (Pronatec, its acronym in Portuguese) until the end of 2014.
With youth unemployment extremely high in Latin America, numerous government efforts have been under way to help the poorest individuals. In Colombia, the "Jóvenes en Acción" or "Youth in Action" program was introduced in the mid-2000s to provide job training to about 4,300 unemployed youth (ages 18-25) who lived in urban areas and fell into the two lowest deciles of the income distribution. Jessica Owens, a consultant with Colombia's Ministry of Labor, says that evaluations show that women fared the best under the program.
One popular solution to unemployment is to provide the unemployed with more skills through training. However, the impacts of vocational training in developed countries have been at most modest.