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26 de April de 2017Family, school. environment, and labor world, areas that determine skills in Latin America
2img - Family, school. environment, and labor world, areas that determine skills in Latin America
2img - Family, school. environment, and labor world, areas that determine skills in Latin America
2img - Family, school. environment, and labor world, areas that determine skills in Latin America
2img - Family, school. environment, and labor world, areas that determine skills in Latin America

In Madrid, CAF presents the 2016 Economy and Development Report focused on Latin America's human capital 

 

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Last Monday, at Casa de las Américas in Madrid, CAF, Development Bank of Latin America, presented the 2016 Economy and  Development Report (RED 23016, for its acronym in Spanish): More skills for work and life: the contributions of family, school, the environment, and the working world. The report emphasizes skills as a support of human capital, as they imply better quality jobs, better physical and mental health, active participation in social life and, therefore, a noticeable increase in personal wellbeing. 

Guillermo Fernández de Soto, CAF's Director for Europe, together with Santiago Miralles, General Director of the Casa de América, welcomed the participants of the event. Fernández de Soto highlighted the timeliness of this report, given the great challenge faced by the region regarding the quality of human capital, especially in view of the accelerated technological changes that will impact labor markets in coming years. "Latin America, as a still young continent, may take advantage of the opportunity to invest in a very profitable manner in providing more skills to its population", he added. 

CAF's Director for Europe also highlighted the importance of new technologies, which are changing the teaching processes. "Technology researchers today, important academic centers, and in general public policies, will all change. It will be our responsibility to teach the children of today with this criteria. It involves seeing beyond the field of mathematics of engineering and science, because almost always innovations come from those areas of knowledge that must produce brilliant technological results and a more human civilization. 

Lucila Berniell, principal economist at CAF's Direction of Socioeconomic Research, presented the details of the 2016 RED to the participants. This report highlights the family, the school, the environment, and the working world as the four areas which, throughout the cycle of life of people, are decisive to develop diverse skills that make up the human capital of people, which must be improved and distributed more equitably so that Latin America can achieve full economic and social development. 

In this respect, Berniell highlighted the presence of large inequalities in the cognitive, socio-emotional, and physical development of Latin American children, many of which may be seen early on in their lives. In addition, the researcher emphasized that a substantial part of this diagnosis presented in the 2016 RED was possible thanks to the skills measurements taken by the CAF Survey, which covered ten thousand households in ten large cities of Latin America. 

The presentation of the report included a debate regarding what public policies are needed to support the role of the different teaching contexts, which not only imply challenges for the educational institutions, but also for the organization within the household, in the labor world, and for the provision of basic social infrastructure that also impact on the training of human capital in this region. 

At the same time, despite the increasing importance of non-cognitive skills in many stages of life, the 2016 RED points out that the challenge of skills in Latin America may be found not only in socio-emotional aspects, but also, and critically, in the cognitive and physical development of people. "All these dimensions of the development of human capital affect the possibility of getting a quality job and other aspects that make up the quality of life. The first two decades of life require a coordinated functioning of different training contexts and , therefore, they need a closer and more coordinated dialogue between the different public agencies that address the problems not only of the educational system, but also of the families and the working world". 

Regarding the effects of the physical environment, the report states that the coverage of housing basic services is not complete in Latin America, and that this may affect how the most basic skills are developing, particularly conditioning health aspects in children and youths. The 2017 RED, which will be published toward the end of this year, will treat other aspects of the environment that also affect the human capital of Latin Americans, and will focus on subjects related to the habitat and economic development in Latin America. 

The exposition of this report was completed by the comments of Aitor Lacuesta, Leader of the Division of Structural Analysis at the Banco de España, and José María Sanz-Magallón, General Director of the Fundación Telefónica, who, moderated by Christian Daude, CAF's Director of Socioeconomic Research, offered complementary visions regarding the challenge of teaching more skills for life and work.

This activity is aligned with CAF's strategy of becoming an important generator of ideas and knowledge to be able to offer analysis and value added tools to the countries. 

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