Skills Development

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Recognizing the growing challenges Latin American countries face in secondary and post-secondary education and training systems, the Dialogue’s Education Program has initiated work in the area of skills development. Our main goal is to promote the adoption of more flexible models for secondary and post-secondary training institutions that are more market driven in their approaches, more adept at using technologies, and more closely engaged with potential employers.

In collaboration with multilateral and civic organizations, the Dialogue is working to advance the need to develop better policies and programs regarding technical education and professional training in Latin America. This initiative aims to help create an agenda based on best practices and to understand the existing challenges in the region.


Untangling the Soft Skills Conversation

May 2016

Soft Skills Report cover

Workforce Training in Latin America

December 2016





The Skills Development Challenge in Latin America

October 2016




The Future of Education in Latin America and the Caribbean

July 2018



Report Launch: Workforce Development in Latin America

January 24, 2017 – The Inter-American Dialogue and Laureate International Universities launched the report “Workforce Development in Latin America” in the Universidad del Valle de México in Mexico City. Speakers included officials from Laureate International Universities, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the Secretariat of Work and Social Security in Mexico. Read more about the event here. You can watch the webcast of the event here.

Report Launch: The Skills Development Challenge in Latin America

 October 20th, 2016 – The Inter-American Dialogue launched the report “The Skills Development Challenge in Latin America: Diagnosing the problems and identifying public policy solutions“, the result of a joint effort with Mathematica Policy Research, with support from CAF – Development Bank of Latin America. The event, organized in collaboration with USAID, took place in the Ronald Reagan Building. 

Seminar: Technical Education and Professional Training

August 11th, 2016 – In conjunction with CAF – Development Bank of Latin America and Argentina’s Instituto Nacional de Educación Tecnológica (INET), the Dialogue organized the international seminar Technical Education and Professional Training in Latin America. The event convened key policymakers, academics, business professionals, and experts in workforce development to discuss the state of technical education and professional training in Latin America, review lessons from experience, and explore opportunities for reform in the region. 

Seminar: Latin America’s Productivity Challenge

January 28, 2015 – With support from CAF, the Dialogue organized the seminar Latin America’s Productivity Challenge: Technical Education and Professional Training. The event convened key practitioners, academics, business professionals, and other experts to discuss the state of technical education and professional training in Latin America, review lessons from experience, including from both Latin America and the United States, and explore opportunities for reform in the region. To read a complete summary of this event and review the speaker presentations, click here. To see photos from the event, click here.  

Policy Briefs

The Dialogue’s Policy Briefs provide summaries of key topics in the field of education policy. The following series produced six policy briefs that aim to promote informed debates on how to improve technical education and professional training in Latin America. These policy briefs were made possible through the support of CAF – Development Bank of Latin America.

1. Secondary Technical & Vocational Education
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2. Online Competency-Based Education Lessons 
EBCEL Cover 3

 3. Apprenticeships:
       Basic Concepts     
Apprenticeships cover

4. Untangling the Soft
Skills Conversation
Soft Skills cover

 5. Post-Secondary Technical & Vocational Education

6. Schools Reintegration for Vulnerable Youth

Blog posts

Dec. 11, 2018 – ¿Cómo podemos apoyar a los estudiantes del nivel secundario? Evidencia sobre becas y mentorías en Argentina – Maria Oviedo, Alejandro Ganimian & Nicolás Buchbinder

July 18, 2018 – The Value of a Bilingual Education – Sarah Stanton

Oct. 9, 2017 – How Can We Improve English Language Proficiency in Latin America? – Kathryn Cronquist

May 15, 2017 – How to Use Technology Effectively in Education: The Case of Ceibal en Inglés – Tania Pruitt

Aug. 5, 2016 – Potential of Mobile Learning in Latin America – Federico Sucre & Ashley Manning

Jun. 15, 2016 – How to Finance Higher Education – Agustin Barroilhet & Ricardo Espinoza

Jun. 7, 2016 – Dual Systems in Higher Education: DHLA – Thomas Voigt & Belén Cumsille

May 17, 2016 – Technical Education in Argentina: Challenges and Opportunities – Ariel Fiszbein

Apr. 12, 2016 – Role of E-Learning in Higher Education in Latin America – Federico Sucre

Mar. 30, 2016 – Chile’s Higher Education Reform: Prioritizing Technical Education – Sergio Bitar

Mar. 22, 2016 – Online Competency-Based Education: College for AmericaH. Wilkes & F. Sucre

Mar. 9, 2016 – Lessons from Online Competency-Based Education – Federico Sucre

Feb. 2, 2016 – Challenges & Possibilities of Technical Education in CR – Leonardo Garnier

Nov. 12, 2015 – Technical Education & Professional Training – Federico Sucre & Belén Cumsille

Jan. 13, 2015 – Education, Skills, and Innovation in LAC – CAF, ECLAC, OECD

Dec. 9, 2014 – Should Teaching “Soft” Skills Be a Priority? – Alejandro Ganimian

Nov. 25, 2014 – Building Human Resources in Latin America – Ariel Fiszbein

Sep. 9, 2014 – Where is All the Professional Talent in Latin America? – Federico Sucre

Aug. 12, 2014 – How Lack of Skills Can Derail Mexico’s Energy Reform – Jason Fargo

Aug. 5, 2014 – Mexican Youth’s Education & Employability – Monica Tapia & Federico Sucre


LatAm Productivity Challenge 2