Strong workforce but lacking skilled labour in Peru

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Over half (53.8%) of Peru’s population is under the age of 25 and the number of people entering the workforce is on a steady rise too.

PeruBetween 2003 and 2011, the workforce grew from 2.3 million in 2003, to 3.7 million.  However, Peru is battling a large unskilled workforce, with many of their local talent leaving for opportunities abroad.

Peru’s construction industry

As it stands today, Peru’s unemployment rate is 6.6%.  Agriculture, construction, commerce, and education are big industries for employment.

According to recent figures, manual labour grew by 3.5% in 2011.  But when it comes to specialised projects involving skilled labour, there is a deficit.  The lack of technical institutes has resulted in many local companies having to train their own workers – relying on workers from abroad to close the skills gap.

Recent figures suggests over half (52%) of employers in Peru are having difficulties finding skilled workers.

In some cases, companies are importing workers from other industrial sectors that are not related to construction.  The government has responded by offering tax breaks to companies that provide training to workers but that’s not a long-term solution.

Overcoming the large trade imbalance  

Vocational education is available from a variety of technological institutions and other similar facilities.  Mainly private, these providers are supervised and graded by the Ministry of Education that licenses them.

Secondary education in Peru is divided into two phases: two years of general studies, and three years of specialisation.  In the second phase, each student can choose between academic and vocational options.  The academic students are allowed to specialise in either liberal arts or science, while the vocational students choose between commercial, industrial, and agricultural courses of study.

Peruvian vocational and technical students often end up working in the same jobs for the same amount of money as academic students.

TVET education focuses on a wider range of skills such as soft skills – as well as matching the demand and supply of skills.  It can also help increase employment by giving students, particularly youth, the hands-on skills they need to excel in their jobs.

With a population of 29 million and a location next to Brazil, one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, Peru is a country with great potential.  Overcoming the lack of skilled workers in Peru could be the ticket to their multinational growth.  Vocational education can help fill the gap, so that locals stay in their own country to live and work.

To invest in education in your country, region, or TVET system contact Wendy Perry via

March 2016

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