Technical education and competitiveness on Argentina

Argentina is aiming for an open, competitive, and growing economy, investing in its human talent and letting people access to education easier.

As 2016 dawns, Argentina is facing serious challenges. In the coming years, the country will need to modernize its economy, improve citizen security, and reestablish its position in the world. Above all, it must deal with a major human capital shortfall in order to expand its workforce and deepen its talent pool.

Commonly known as an education leader in Latin America, Argentina still has a long way to go in terms of improving quality and boosting graduation rates; that's why the recently appointed Minister of Education, Esteban Bullrich, is leading a new national conversation on education quality and social mobility. As he believes, the bottom line is that every citizen, regardless of birth, has a right to the best possible public education to prepare them for life and work.

Despite the more than 600,000 students in technical secondary schools, almost 200,000 in technical higher level schools, and more than 400,000 in professional training centers, the percentage of students engaged in such technical or vocational training is still quite small compared with the total population.

The objective of INET, the National Institute on Technological Education, is to build upon what has already been achieved. To begin with, they will focus on the 2005 Law of Professional Technical Education. This legislation defines what the state can offer to workers at the local and national levels in order to better link instruction with the needs of the job market - and thus create a virtuous cycle of demand for more workers and growing employment. As Minister Bullrich has said, "We want to develop regional economies and have technical schools very connected to those economies."

What Argentina is aiming for is an open, competitive, and growing economy. This vision will require strong investment in its human talent. The greater access to education achieved in recent years must now be coupled with higher quality and more skills-focused educational options.

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