Expo Empleo Joven 2017 Photo via Buenos Aires Ciudad

This May 30 and 31, Buenos Aires City played host to the 6th annual Expo Empleo Joven, or Youth Career Expo, taking place in La Rural. The event, officially opened yesterday by President Mauricio Macri and Buenos Aires City Governor Horacio Larreta, was open to young people between 18 and 29 years old, and aimed to assist them with professional challenges, connect them with the country’s best companies and help them in the job search.

In practice, this means a mixture of motivational talks and practical advice on how to compose and tailor the content of one’s resume. There will be representatives from over 200 companies in attendance, Civil Society Organizations, Universities and Government ministries offering training and employment opportunities, as well as 10,000 job offers available. Speaking at the event, Macri stressed that although “the world knows that Argentines are capable, talented and creative…what we have lacked for many years was organizing ourselves well.” Part of this, he continued is “confidence” which is “fundamental.” He praised a job’s ability to raise self-esteem: “In your job is where you meet people, generate respect, work in teams and continue to grow.

From where Larreta is standing, its “more and better work” which defines the future of Argentina, and sees it as the government’s “responsibility” to “promote work…and help [young people] in this fundamental stage.” He advised the youngsters that the most effective and powerful thing to do is to “break the inertia and start, with the first project and first job.” He thanked recent employees for speaking at the event to inspire and advise those who are just starting out.

According to the City government, the event, which is open to both residents and non-residents of the capital who signed up and sent in a resume, aimed to provide practical tools to allow young people to realize the potential of their skills while searching for jobs; motivate and stimulate young people by offering testimonies by successful people in a range of professional fields; offer vocational-occupational orientation; offer opportunities for networking and professional development by putting young people into contact with different companies; holding an Assessment Center, a real recruitment space for active job searching with different companies through group interviews.

Last April, the Macri administration presented a new bill designed to generate conditions to help people aged between 18 and 24 enter the labor market. They were justified in making tackling youth unemployment a priority; in 2015 the UN published a Work for Human Development report which revealed that Argentina’s youth unemployment rate was the highest in Latin America. Moreover, much has written about Generación NINI, so named for being the generation that neither studies nor works, i.e. ni estudiar ni trabajar, in Spanish. In 2015, it was reported by the Observatory for Childhood and Adolescent Rights that 18,000 young people, primarily women, in Rosario, Santa Fe y Villa Gobernador Gálvez alone were out of work and education. It is easy for vulnerable, excluded sectors of society become more excluded and isolated from it; pregnancy among young, vulnerable women is high in these areas, and the same report noted that “pregnancy among this group of women is associated with barriers that block access to goods and services, [namely] formal education and work [among others].”