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Panama's Need For Skilled Labor, and Its Involvement With The International Labor Organization (ILO)

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Panama Hosting International Conference on "The Future of Work"

This 30th and 31st of January 2018, Panama will host an international conference on the future of work and the new vocational training.

The theme will be addressed by experts of the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the Inter-American Center for Knowledge Development in Vocational Training (CINTERFOR), reported the National Vocational Training Institute for Human Development (INADEH).

Fernando Vargas, of Uruguay and Alvaro Ramírez, of Costa Rica, both vocational training specialists, will be in charge of opening the cycle of presentations of this conference organized by the ILO and the Inadeh with the support of the International Center for Sustainable Development (CIDES).

The prospects of employment in Panama and the main challenges of the national training system will be part of the debate are invited representatives of the National Council of Private Enterprise (CONEP), the National Council of Organized Workers (CONATO), the National Confederation of Trade Union Unity (Conusi).

The Director of ILO for Central America, Panama, Haiti and the Dominican Republic, Carmen Moreno will be present at this event. Panelists from the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), ALECOP Spain, of the Salvadoran Institute for Vocational Training (INSAFORP) and of the National Industrial Apprenticeship Service of Brazil are also invited.

Augustine Aguirre, director of Research Methods and Programming of the Basque Government will speak of the experiences in Spain following the implementation of the new vocational training which focuses on the permanent updating of the workers.

During the conference will also review the dual training, which is the integration of the private sector in the process of training of the workforce and models of prospecting in the vocational training that are intended to anticipate the requirements of the productive sectors.



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Panama Chairs ILO Standards Enforcement Commission for the first time

Tue, 05/29/2018 - 12:23

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Panama assumed the Presidency of the Committee on the Application of Standards of the International Labor Organization (ILO) today, in the framework of the 107th Meeting of the International Labor Conference that takes place in Geneva, Switzerland, informed an official source.

This Commission, which Panama will preside for the first time, is the “cornerstone” of the supervision system and “the center of the Tripartite System of this world organization,” said the Ministry of Labor and Social Development (Mitradel) in Panama.

It is also the forum for dialogue in which the ILO debates on the application of international labor standards, said the Panamanian law firm.

The Bureau of the Commission will be formed by Rorix Nuñez Morales, head of Mitradel, as president; Sonia Regenbogen, Vice President of the Employers and Marc Leemans, Vice President of the Workers.

The Commission for the Application of Standards is part of the control system of the International Labor Organization, and ensures compliance with the obligations and international labor standards of the UN branch.

This commission is permanent and is composed in a tripartite manner by delegates from the Government, employer and worker sectors, and will be held from today to June 8 in Geneva, Switzerland, according to official information.



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Panama's role is highlighted as an international labor recipient

Mon, 06/18/2018 - 20:42

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The Panamanian Minister of Labor Luis Ernesto Carles today highlighted the role of Panama as an international labor recipient, inaugurating the forum called the Academy on Labor Migration that takes place in the Central American country, informed an official source.

Carles said at the opening of the event, which takes place at the headquarters of the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino), since the nineteenth century Panama has received migrant workers from all continents and in recent decades, due to its rate of economic growth, "it has attracted human talent and manpower from around the world."

This labor migration, according to Carles, comes from neighboring countries such as Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela and other more distant countries such as China and the United States.

He added that although this migration occurs mainly for labor and economic reasons, it also has social, cultural and political implications, both in the countries of origin and those of destination.

"Panama, as a destination country, is dealing with the phenomenon of migration that may be beneficial, but which is still controversial and debated by many members of our societies," said Carles.

On the opening day of the forum, the high-level tripartite panel "Strengthening links between Employment and Migration" was held, with the participation of representatives of the Ministry of Labor and Labor Development of Panama (Mitradel) and the workers, moderated by Carmen Moreno of the International Labor Organization (ILO).

In addition to the ILO, the event, which will end on June 22, is sponsored by national and international organizations related to labor world, such as the Regional Conference on Migration (CRM), among others, said the Mitradel.



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Panama launches platform to coordinate training offer with labor market

Tue, 12/04/2018 - 19:07


The Government of Panama launched today with the support of the International Labor Organization (ILO), a technological platform that aims to coordinate the training offer of human talent with the national productive sector and its personnel needs.

This platform called "Human Talent Panama" also provides "timely information on the existing human resource in various economic sectors in order to enable them to enter the labor market".

The Ministry of Labor and Labor Development (Mitradel) said on Tuesday that this platform "will inform and recommend the technical-professional orientation that the country must address."

Therefore "it will represent an important tool for the generation, adjustment and development of public policies" that take into account the "inclusion of gender in certain training sectors for a greater representation of women in the workplace.

The Ministry explained in a public statement that "Talent Panama allows to identify the preparation of graduates of the Professional and Technical Institutes of the Ministry of Education and the National Institute of Vocational Training and Training for Human Development."

"Panama Talent can teach quickly, easily and highly detailed, data such as training area, specialty, educational level, sex, educational offer and number of graduates from each center in the various provinces and municipalities of the country, between 2015 and 2017".

The Minister of Labor, Zulphy Santamaría, stressed that "only through the development of adequate human talent Panama will continue on the path of sustained and increasingly equal growth."

In this regard, the Director of the ILO Office for Central America, Haiti, Panama and the Dominican Republic, Carmen Moreno, agreed that investing in education and training of people is the way to achieve productive development in the countries, according to official information.

The Ministry of Labor of Panama noted that the platform launched on Tuesday "will increase the employability of young people through an improvement in the relevance of technical education programs."

It will also "improve the competitiveness of companies through a training offer more aligned with market demand, reduce regional gaps in training services and optimize public investment in technical education."

Panama, one of the most powerful economies in the region, recorded a total unemployment rate in March of 5.8 percent, 0.2 percentage points higher than the same month in 2017 (5.6 percent), according to the most recent official data.



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Workforce Automation: More Threat Than Opportunity

Although new jobs will emerge, technological changes will have a strong impact in the Central American region, where there is a high proportion of jobs with a high risk of automation.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

According to forecasts made by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), in 2018 it was estimated that 75% of workers in Guatemala and El Salvador are in high-risk automation jobs. In Costa Rica the proportion is 68%, in Panama and Nicaragua 65%, and in the Dominican Republic 62%.

Because of technological transformations, several trends are now being identified that are impacting the labor market, among which are the decline in wage employment, decline of "titulitis" (overvaluation of academic degrees) and emergence of "know how to solve", work by project, labor flexibility, compensation beyond work, among others.

René Quevedo, an expert in the labor market, explained to Martesfinanciero that "... The rise of companies and Internet applications that connect workers with clients such as Uber for cars with driver, Deliveroo for home deliveries with bicycle drivers, Taskrabit or Cronoshare for tasks ranging from writing a storyline to developing software, causes that millions of people have lost the status of employees, and thereby the right to have paid vacation or sick leave, get a credit or plan household finances."

Human capital formation is essential to Central American economies' success in overcoming the obstacles to future growth since technological revolutions will require structural changes in education systems.

In this regard, the regional director of the International Labor Organization (ILO), José Manuel Salazar-Xirinachs, explains that "... There is great pressure on education systems, which must be up to date with their curricula, teaching methods and careers, to adapt them to the skills that the market is demanding and to train workers in new trades."



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