Saying the government has set a goal of adding 250,000 new jobs a year, Ecuador’s new Minister of Labor Raúl Clemente Ledesma says his priority is young workers.
“We have too many young Ecuadorians who are not working or working at jobs beneath their skill level,” says Ledesma. “As the quality of education improves, we need to make sure there is opportunity as for those entering the workforce.”
One problem Ledesma says the ministry is targeting is the “informal” employment of foreigners in service sector jobs. “In restaurants, discos and bars, we see that many of the jobs are held by foreigners who do not have the legal status to work in Ecuador,” he said. “Ecuador has become an attractive destination for foreigners but it is important to keep these entry level positions available to foreigners.”
In a report issued last month on employment of young Ecuadorians, the labor ministry claimed that workers from Venezuela, Cuba, Colombian and North America are “crowding out” Ecuadorians. “Many of these workers do not have legal status and we must work to end their employment. We must focus first on jobs for Ecuadorians,” the report said.