The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has approved a $20 million loan to help Bolivia expand the coverage and effectiveness of its programs for job seekers. The employment programs, implemented by the country’s Ministry seeks to better incorporate job seekers into the labor market and potentially benefits thousands of job seekers.
The project is made up of three components: expansion of the Employment Service; a pilot project to support employment for adults; and planning, analysis of employment policies and evaluation. Employment services in Latin America and the Caribbean are a recent innovation and have the potential to become real assets for the labor market by matching employers and job seekers in a timely, effective and relevant manner. However, most employment services in the region, including Bolivia, have limited coverage, essentially providing job banks for brick and mortar operations.
The first component of the project will focus on development and implementation of systems that facilitate job training and job counseling including personalized services, internet and a call center that job seekers may access from anywhere in the country. The employment support for adults will link training with internships. It primarily targets professional adults who have graduated from technical schools and universities but do not have an access to employment opportunitie.
Another component of the project will evaluate the effectiveness of job placement programs currently in place in the country. Bolivia’s is one of the poorest country in South America with 60% of the country living in poverty. The country’s unemployment rate is 7.5% and has continuously gone down over the last decade but many Bolivians are not educated enough to seek employment opportunities.