In 2015 in Mexico, 22% of 15-29-year-olds were neither studying, working, nor in training. At the time, this was well above the OECD average of 15%. For more than a decade, the number of young Mexicans in this age group remained above 20%, reflecting the growing challenge facing the country to improve opportunities for young people to access quality jobs. There was also a notable gender gap, as young women were four times more likely not to work or study compared to men. Finally, more than 50% of young Mexicans failed to complete upper secondary education, making them even more vulnerable to the challenges of the workforce and hindering their access to quality jobs.

With funding from the TK Foundation, our 3- year Órale initiative oriented youth to the world of work through employability and life skills training combined with job placement services. IYF targeted the specific needs of 16 to 28-year-olds who were not employed or enrolled in an academic program or training (NEET) in the cities of Tijuana, Leon, and Guadalajara, Mexico. Including youth-to-youth facilitation, mentoring, counseling, this initiative built upon the validated USAID-funded Youth:Work Mexico (YWM) model developed over five years of implementation in the cities of Juarez and Tijuana, Mexico.

To achieve high-scale and long-term sustainability, IYF transferred ownership and management of the initiative to local organizations. In Tijuana, IYF partnered with Fronteras Unidas ProSalud, A.C., a strong YWM partner. In Leon and Guadalajara, IYF engaged in a new partnership with Vinculos y Redes, A.C., and their network of Salesians of Don Bosco Centers, who work with vulnerable communities across the country. 

In just 3 years, IYF exceeded all proposed program targets and achieved the following final results:

  • 1,827 young people benefited from training in life and employment skills.
  • 1,475 (80% of enrollees) young people graduated from the training.
  • 51% of the participants are young women.
  • 72% of young people who complete training have a job or are studying 6 to 9 months after graduating.
  • 88% of employers are satisfied with the graduates’ workplace performance.
  • 98 VYR facilitators, mentors and counselors trained.
  • 3 implementing organizations strengthened to a “strong” level of technical and management capacity to implement the Órale model independently.

For more information, please contact us at partnerships@iyfnet.org.