Brazil faces challenges in economic growth related to unemployment rate, which has reached over 10 percent. Among the Brazilian youth, it has reached 20 percent, including 52 percent in the Northeast region. These youngsters face social, economic and educational difficulties that limit their ability to secure formal employment. Given the high standards required by the job market, many of these youth abandon school in search of informal occupations. In addition, the lack of foreign language capability impedes youngsters from attaining well-paying jobs and causes concern for companies requiring qualified professionals.
It is crucial for Brazilian youth from disadvantaged communities to develop job skills so that they can avoid chronic unemployment. Focusing the Northeast region, the USAID Youth Employability program integrated approach has fostered the development of professional skills and has helped youth to become proactive, socially engaged citizens. The program methodology allows a rapid response to changing market demands, incorporating technical and life skills together with professional counseling to increase youth’s capacity to obtain and retain jobs.
What is USAID doing in this area?
The Employability and Technology (E&T) training develops the skills necessary for professional and individual development. In a dynamic and computer-focused learning environment, it covers topics such as effective communication, information and technology, professional behavior, entrepreurship, and leadership - with a focus on learning computers and dynamic activities. Upon completion of training, youth continue to receive assistance from USAID and its partners to provide them with opportunities for effective placement in the formal job market.
Basic English Language Learning
Building on the E&T training, the Basic English Language training expands students’ understanding about market needs and the competitive advantages of learning a foreign language. It uses an active learning approach with special emphasis on pronunciation and communication, enabling youth to converse in English in both social and professional settings.
Connecting Youth and the Job Market
USAID/Brazil Youth Employability Program is particularly successful at forming partnerships with the private sector and encouraging companies to employ disadvantaged youth. Brazilian employers have found that, when afforded both technical and life-skills training, disadvantaged youth bring vitality to their companies. This mutually beneficial commitment is a key ingredient to sustaining growth and generating employment.
What does USAID expect to achieve?
In partnership with a variety of stakeholders -- the Government of Brazil, civil society organizations, and the private sector -- USAID expects to:
- Increase productive/formal employment and income generation capacity of the impoverished youth to promote their social and economic inclusion and Brazil’s economic growth;
- Increase the number of disadvantaged youth access to English Language training focus on job market;
- Promote public-private partnerships to sustain and replicate the program methodology in the Northeast region;
- Incorporate youth mentorship and internship programs as part of the policies of public and private sector partners’ organizations.