For years, the Mexican government has funded and administered a training program targeted at unemployed workers. This program, called PROBECAT (Programa de Becas de Capacitación para Desempleados), was initially launched to mitigate the impact on the labor market of the 1982 debt crisis; it was then continued in view of the major opening and deregulation of the economy during the last half of the eighties. After a yearly registration of less than 50 000 persons up until 1994, it was expanded eightfold when the country entered a major recession in 1995. During the last half of the 1990s, PROBECAT continued to be the Mexican government’s most important policy to improve the productivity and employability of the unemployed 2. Training by PROBECAT is provided by institutions which differ in their degree of autonomy with respect to the central government, in their organizational resources and in their capacity to identify and adapt their training to the requirements of the area in which they are located.
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