Where is the quality of life for young people?

Here in Colombia we have that impoverished mentality that tells us that earning the exact amount for our needs or sometimes less is fine

Young man lying behind study books.

Young man lying behind study books. / Photo: Pexels

LatinAmerican Post | Natalia Isaza Chavarría

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Leer en español: ¿Y dónde está la calidad de vida de los jóvenes?

Currently, a career is not an insurance to get a job or have a good income. Although at the end of 2018, according to the International Labor Organization, the unemployment rate in Latin America dropped three points, reaching 7.8%, the improvement is very modest and youth unemployment is skyrocketing, being three times higher at the average rate. So many newly graduated professionals and 40% of companies still have vacancies that they fail to fill because they do not supposedly find the profiles with the necessary skills.

The labor market is very paradoxical, companies prefer to employ less young people because they say they are less reliable. They are concerned about the lack of commitment, the poor standards of behavior, the unpunctuality, among other characteristics assigned to them, but they are not given the opportunity to prove otherwise or to learn. This becomes an endless chain.

In Colombia, the possibility of reducing the salary for young people between 18 and 25 years of age to 75% of the current monthly legal minimum wage has been considered. This figure would be equivalent to $ 621,000 COP and the proposal was that this payment be maintained for one year, with the fallacy that it is a learning process. Young people already have enough to give away 6 months of their life under that assumption, working for a company while doing their internship, taking into account that in many cases they have more burdens than those linked.

Proposals such as these affect the quality of life of young people and the economy of the country, since they would not have the capacity to invest or simply acquire products in the local market. The above without thinking of deeper repercussions such as the high percentage of young people who still continue to depend on their parents, because leaving home represents an imminent risk.

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Solutions are constantly being sought to overcome the general unemployment crisis, to decrease the high rate, as it has been increasing. For example, currently in Colombia, this percentage is at 10.8%, but instead of attacking the root and improving the quality of work, what is being done is to emphasize and corroborate that the traditional market is in decline and that young people are in tune with it.

Now, if you are a woman, the possibility of getting a job can be reduced. According to the National Administrative Department of Statistics (DANE, in Spanish), the unemployment rate of women between February and April of this year was 13%, presenting a large difference with that of men in the same period, which reported in 8.4 %. Now, if that adds to being young, for the former, the percentage increases to 21.4% and for men to 13.9%

There are many models and countries that can be a source of inspiration regarding labor strategies and regulations, but the idea of working for miseries, of giving away work because of the need or lack of experience, of continuing to perpetuate that impoverished mentality continues is not okay. It is time to assert our abilities, skills and knowledge, because all have required a process that we always hope to see fruit.