Peru’s ProJoven is an archetypical 1990s Latin American training programme in that it effectively reached its target beneficiaries, was demand-driven and engaged the private sector. A social programme of the Ministry of Labour, ProJoven, provided short-term training for young people from households living below the poverty line. Empirical evidence shows that the programme has had positive impacts on several key indicators, including employment rates and average wage, and in particular amongst young women. This Case Study Brief provides an analysis of the design, operating mechanisms and impacts of the ProJoven programme in order to draw out key success factors that will be useful for other regions.
Overall, ProJoven provides a successful model for tackling structural unemployment which may especially affect middle- and low-skilled youth. Targeting this disadvantaged group while promoting development of the training market helped to improve connections between labour supply and demand, producing benefits for society more broadly. Demand-driven mechanisms - such as public calls for participants and training institutes - can promote competitiveness and higher standards in the training market.
Training programmes are not easy sells politically. Though rigorous evaluation of Peru’s pilot programme provided evidence of positive social returns, it was not been enough to push public officials to approve full-scale implementation. This underscores the importance of having a strategy to ‘sell’ the idea to politicians and public officials.
ProJoven’s lessons on design and implementation suggest that effective targeting requires both self-selection (short courses, for instance, will not attract the well-off) and socio-economic assessment. Furthermore, targeting poor female youth can help to reduce gender segregation in the labour market.
Jaramillo, M. ELLA Policy Brief: Peru&#8217;s ProJoven Training Programme. ELLA, Practical Action Consulting, Lima, Peru (2013) 6 pp.