Young adults in Argentina who complete their secondary education face a difficult challenge in finding quality jobs. Last year 33 percent of those in the 25-29 age-group with a complete secondary education had access to this kind of employment, a new study has revealed, while only nine percent of those who did not finish school reached the same level.
Over the last 15 years, youth access to quality jobs in Argentina has declined – in 2006, 40 percent of those aged between 25 and 29 with a complete secondary education had a quality job.
The findings emerged from the “Youth, education and work” report from the Observatorio de Argentinos por la Educación and the CIPPEC think-tank, co-authored by Esteban Torre and Vanesa D’Alessandre (CIPPEC) and Victor Volman, Eugenia Orlicki and Martín Nistal ( Observatorio).
Using data from the EPH (Encuesta Permanente de Hogares) household survey between 2003 and 2021, the document analyses the relationship between expanding secondary school numbers and youth access to quality jobs (a definition implying over 30 hours a week and pension contributions).
“The job insertion of youth is a worry throughout Latin America and the level of education, as we see in this report, has a direct effect on the quality of employment,” observes Guillermina Laguzzi, an education and labour expert for the Organisation of Ibero-American States for Education, Science and Culture.
Meanwhile the report underlines that during the 2003-2021 period, students within the educational system expanded. The percentage of adolescents aged between 13 and 17 not attending a school fell from 9.5 percent in 2003 to 3.4 percent in 2021.
In that same period numbers in secondary schools increased 14 percentage points with 92 percent of the adolescents aged between 13 and 17 years attending school at the secondary level.
Percentages of graduates
The percentage graduating from secondary school equally increased 14 percentage points between 2003 and 2021. Last year 66.8 percent of youngsters aged between 18 and 24 years had a secondary school certificate and 72.3 percent of youth in the 25 to 29 age-group.
Those figures stood at around 60 percent in 2003 with the data suggesting an increasing number of students acquiring secondary school certificates, also including adult education programmes.
In another notable finding, more women complete a secondary education than men – 71 percent of the females aged between 18 and 24 have a secondary school certificate with the percentage falling to 62 among males of the same age.
“In any case the gap is tending to shrink – last year it was nine percentage points but in 2003, 12,” details the report.
Yet the percentages of women gaining access to quality jobs are considerably less, explains the Observatorio-CIPPEC study.
“Last year among the youth aged from 25 to 29 with a secondary school certificate, 48 percent of the males have a quality job while the percentage falls to 16 percent among women, a gap of 32 points,” it found.
The asymmetry is maintained among those who do not finish school –15 percent of males aged between 25 and 29 with an incomplete secondary education gain access to a quality job while that figure falls to two percent among women.