Labor Integration Programs in Disadvantaged Neighborhoods. The Experience of CEDEL

The results of the 2019 study[1] carried out by GAN Argentina, the Argentine Industrial Union (UIA) and Randstad, and funded by the U.S. Department of Labor[2], show that labor intermediation is key in the context of high socio-economic vulnerability.

The report presents the analysis of the experience, the lessons learned, and the results of the Labor Intermediation Program implemented by the Centre for Entrepreneurship and Labor Development (CEDEL) in Padre Mugica neighborhood (former Barrio 31) in the city of Buenos Aires.

Societal prejudices and preconceptions about a supposed link between the neighborhood and the characteristics of its residents preclude the neighborhood residents’ access to formal employment.

Key findings of the research are:

· During the project focus period (July 2018 – June 2019), about 1,690 people joined the program, 63% of whom were women and 37% men

· Almost 42% of participants were under 25 years old; about 32% between 25-34 years old, and only 10% were older than 45.

· 49% completed secondary education, and 16% were in tertiary or university degree.

· About 52% of the participants were Argentinian, followed by those originally from Bolivia, Paraguay, and Peru.

· 1 in 2 people completed the career guidance workshop (Taller de Orientación Laboral – TOL), which proved to be essential to be included in companies’ recruitment processes; 18% of workshop graduates obtained access to formal employment - half through CEDEL while the rest through independent job search.

HR managers of the partnering private sector indicated that what they appreciated about the program were: collaboration to address prejudices, the benefits associated with employees living close to their workplace, and the follow-up mechanism set up and implemented by the CEDEL for each individual case.

Direct beneficiaries of the program positively evaluated the experience of labor intermediation and highlighted how this helped opening companies’ doors to them. They also stressed the importance of acquiring knowledge and skills through different training courses, of receiving career counselling services and support for work readiness, including assistance throughout job hunting with support in preparing job interviews.

Read the full report available in English or Spanish.

[1] The study was carried out applying quantitative and qualitative methodologies, with the objective of providing a holistic vision on program performance, integrating organizational aspects, business participation styles and beneficiaries’ perspectives. In the qualitative phase, several program staff, designated representatives of ten partnering companies and 30 residents of the neighborhood have been interviewed. The study was conducted by the Centro de Estudios de Población, under the coordination of Georgina Binstock and Marcela Cerrutti.

[2] For Argentina, funding is provided by the USDOL under cooperative agreement number IL-29557-16-75-K-1. This material does not necessarily reflect the views or policies on the USDOL, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the United States Government.