Guanacaste internship program seeks to reduce youth unemploymen

Some 20 young people in Guanacaste are participating in a pilot internship project modeled on the German system.

The concept is called dual education, and it is a project of the Reserva Conchal and The Westin Golf Resort & Spa Playa Conchal in conjunction with the Instituto Nacional de Aprendizaje and the Cámara de Comercio e Industria Costarricense Alemana.

The theory is that the jobless rate for youngsters is double that of older adults because the young jobseekers do not have experience. An announcement of the program noted that the youth jobless rate in Germany is 6.6 percent while the rate in Costa Rica is 23 percent based on a survey from the last four months of 2013. That means 87,000 youngsters are out of work. The Instituto Nacional de Aprendizaje is the government training agency.

The 20 youngsters come from 14 communities.  The announcement said that this is the first time that the work-study program has been tried in Costa Rica.

Some 60 persons from 18 to 24 applied for the program, and they participated in interviews, said the announcement. Those selected are learning skills that will be useful in the northern Pacific coast tourism trade. These include hotel administration, hotel meal preparation, food and drink professionals and supervision of the housekeeping staff. There is plenty of work. The hotel has 410 rooms.

The system is called dual because work is alternated with study time and theoretical classes, said the announcement. The program is for two years and has a budget of $150,000, the sponsors said.


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