La Jornada – Youth Building the Future helps eradicate the exclusive paradigm

With 2.3 million young people arriving so far and with a goal of 3 million arriving at the end of the six-year period, the Youth Building Future program will be integrated as an important tool to crack down on a model imposed by previous administrations, emphasized Marath Baruch Bolanos Lopez, Under Secretary of Labor and Labor Productivity at the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare (STPS). ), based on the exclusion and restriction of the economic rights of the most vulnerable population.

This is one of the main programs of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, which, according to the Undersecretary for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, has not only provided decent work to millions of young people between the ages of 18 and 29 across the country. It has also been instrumental in helping reduce the rates of violence the country is facing, and has served as a driver for the post-pandemic economic recovery.

Also, in an interview with todayBolaños Lopez highlighted the efficiency of the program, because just over three years after its launch, almost half of the participating youths have found a formal job, which means a serious blow to the forces of organized crime, because among the opportunities most young people have the least incentive or need To be part of the criminal groups.

320,000 co-working centers

According to data from STPS, the Youth Program for Building the Future has currently benefited 2,227,000 young people, with the participation of 320,000 work centers, i.e. companies responsible for their education are important in their facilities over one long year. There are currently 500,000 registered youth working in 160,000 centers in exchange for a monthly government grant of 5,258 pesos.

– After three years of implementing the program, at what stage are you?

– The program is developing, we currently have 2227,000 young people and in two months we will reach the target set by President Lopez Obrador which is 2,300,000, but it will continue to work more because it is a virtuous triangle in which the government gives a minimum wage grant, the company provides its facilities and the young man learns.

“Although the subsidy is only a minimum wage, which is now 5,258 pesos, and when it started, in 2019, it was 3,600 pesos, we cannot ignore its importance, because for decades, many young people have not found decent work options, It is a kind of preferred quarry for groups operating outside the framework of the law.”

Reduce waiting lists drugs

– Have you already worked to reduce the ranks of drug smugglers in Mexico?

– The first thing we must highlight is the country in which we receive the nation. The President has been very emphasizing the importance of getting to the structural causes of the problems and about the national drama we are going through because of the way in which a system based on exclusion and restrictions on the economic rights of the population has been built that have negative effects on the youth.

“In the specific case of insecurity, the fact is that there has been an upward trend, indeed an acceleration, and it is precisely now that we are seeing a decrease in intentional crime, and a large part of that we owe to this program, because it has become a tool for developing an alternative life in a violent context.

“Although it has only been three years and it is impossible to draw concrete conclusions, we see a downward trend in crime, so we see positive implications in the great goal of ripping young people’s hands out of drug trafficking.”

Is there a particular focus on countries where it is known that there is more organized crime presence?

Attending the national programme. However, it focuses on serving the most vulnerable populations, that is, those who suffer from social backwardness or greater marginalization, where entities such as Veracruz, Chiapas, the State of Mexico and Guerrero stand out. However, we are now in the process of fine-tuning the zoning strategy, bringing with mobile units to the municipalities where this support is most needed, particularly in places with the highest levels of violence. One example is that we are currently implementing a very robust and straightforward strategy in Michoacan.

– Figures show that access is minimal in the north of the country where there is also a strong presence drugsWhat is that?

– In the northern states of the country, especially at the borders, an element that mitigates the effects and scope of the program is that the minimum wage is higher, which does not make it much easier; However, these entities are part of the new strategy that consists of mobile units with officials who will explain the benefits of youth to build the future. We must make it clear that one of the structural causes of violence is the lack of opportunities, and that the program specifically is very important in this sense.

Nearly 2.3 million young people joined the program as trainees, but how many young people have managed to get a formal job?

– Of the total number of young people who participated in the program, 46.2% found a job, either by staying at their place of work, or after a year of experience they were able to join another programme. This percentage is very relevant, because it doubles the youth employment rate, given that this segment of the population, when they try to find a job on their own, only 20 percent succeed, that is, only one in five.

“It is also important to say that the program is not limited to providing scholarships, it is pursued, so that half of the young people who are unable to get a job are offered according to their interests, who can look for a job, study or undertake.

– What are the goals for this year and for the remainder of the six-year period?

– We are subject to the development of the budget, for this year we have allocated 22 billion pesos for the implementation of the program, and we even have an important line of duty stations that want to register. We started this year with the registration of 125,000 new youths, paused due to the electoral ban, and re-established this month with a 40,000 seat offer, the goal being to end the year with 2.5 million registered youths.

“Going forward, we hope to include between 700,000 and 800,000 young people in the programme, which means closing the administration while benefiting 3 million young people,” he added.

– The Supreme Auditor of the Union indicated that there are irregularities in the program and there are indications of corruption, especially in companies and officials who retain part of the youth scholarship. who responds?

– ASF notes start rallies, since they were raised and then clarified, so much so that in our case there was no one that indicated a greater contradiction with the program, on the contrary, we did very well in the assessments, because it is transparent and efficient.

Regarding accusations of corruption, when we receive comment or information, we immediately comply with it to ensure that the scholarship reaches the youth in full. For verification and security, officials from the secretariat carry out constant inspections, and when there is a discrepancy on the part of the companies, they are banned from the program. However, we didn’t have many cases.”

What does the Youth Program for Building the Future represent for the country?

– It served as a kind of tool for economic revitalization, given that at the height of the epidemic, many companies considered it as a catalyst for their development. It represented an unprecedented social investment with positive effects in several scales, we are talking about 74 billion pesos that worked to integrate employees into companies at a difficult time.

“Youth Building the Future is a program that is unique in the world because of its social reach, and as its name suggests, it will help create a future in which no one is left behind, especially those who need it most.”

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