President says he is creating an agency to promote employment

The government plans to create 217,000 jobs to decrease the country’s unemployment from its current rate of 8.5 percent to 7 percent by 2018. President Luis Guillermo Solís announced the job creation strategy at a Thursday press conference in the Antigua Aduana alongside the labor and economy ministers.

Titled the Estrategia Nacional de Empleo y Producción, the accompanying 32-page report details how government-appointed groups will find the obstacles that remain in the way of businesses from hiring more employees and offering better quality positions.

“We live in changing times in which we can convert that human essence of work into a development strategy,” said Solís on his Twitter account Thursday.

The Minister of Trabajo, Victor Morales Mora, and Minister of Economía, Welmer Ramos González, outlined a law that will be presented to the Asamblea Legislativa in hopes of creating a private firm called Proempresa that would be the job creating equivalent of Procomer, which focuses on promoting international business in the country.

In an effort to catalyze the plan, the economy ministry is set to roll out a joint production plan that would promote entrepreneurship and

small business start-ups. This strategy will work with institutes and technical schools to teach nearly 10,000 prospective students on developing businesses, according to a ministry report. A similar job promotion program would oversee thousands of enterprises led by women with the goal of improving the businesses’ activities, it said.

According to numbers released by the Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Comercio, more than 10 percent of women in Costa Rica are unemployed. It further showed that 18 percent of the country’s youth is without jobs and that a staggering 65 percent of those with disabilities are without employment.

Ramos said these employment strategies will compensate for the difficulties faced by women bosses, youth expelled from school, and disabled workers. It will also focus its sights on smaller-sized companies and filtering passionate workers to their doors, he said.

“We want to support small and medium-sized businesses and provide them with a number of conditions that can give them opportunities to develop with quality employees,” Ramos said.

The government will also look into the Caja Costarricense del Seguro Social to see how bureaucratic processes are hampering business owners and their potential employees. The ministry report said teams will search for special alternatives that apply to small businesses to allow them better opportunities in getting started.

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