Youth jobs program wins praise

The central government’s youth employment program has gotten the blessing of the director general of the International Labor Organization.

The official, Guy Ryder, called the program a model for other countries when he visited Costa Rica last weekend. He said Costa Rica showed it had the political will to improve the lives of the young people.

The program is called EMPLEATE, which provides grants for some youngsters and maintains a job placement program for many others. The program is directed at youth and young adults from 17 to 24. Most are from disadvantaged circumstances.

President Laura Chinchilla said she sees the program as combating the causes of violence. The program also is seen as combating child labor.

Olma Segura, the minister of Trabajo, said that a campaign will target Guanacaste starting July 24 to bring more students into the program.

In two years, EMPLEATE has provided scholarships to 4,000 youngsters. These range from 100,000 to 200,000 colons a month, from $200 to $400. An additional 6,000 have received other help, the government said. Some worked to clean up neighborhoods and paint buildings.

The name of the program can be described in English as “Get a job.”

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