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Colombia – Public employment services thriving with EU help

25 March 2014

Luis Gomez, the CEO of Colombia’s public employment service, spoke yesterday in Brussels about the service, which was launched with support from the European Union and in just 10 months has established 192 offices and found work for 125,000 people, reports noticias.terra.com.ar.

Eurosocial was the programme of cooperation between the EU and Latin America during the implementation process. Specifically, the Italian Ministry of Labour, which transferred its IT management platform for the Colombians to use.

Mr Gomez commented that the success of the cooperation was that practical support was given but Colombia retained autonomy to decide how to implement it.

During the first three months following the launch of the public employment service the number of offices rose from 33 to 192. In the first 10 months the number of candidates enrolled in the service was 925,000, of whom 125,000 found work.

Mr Gomez explained that the government had decided to stop investing in opening new offices and instead use pre-existing locations, such as private institutions, local authorities, and reach out to stakeholders for space.

Half of the available budget provides unemployment benefits for up to six months, with 35% allocated for training for jobseekers, and 15% for service management.

Despite the progress made by Colombia’s public employment service, Mr Gomez states that there is still much work ahead and the fledgling organisation will require at least three more years of support from European donors.    

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