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Mexico’s Energy Reform: Bridging the Skills Gap

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By Rebecca O’Connor and Lisa Viscidi

Firms across Latin America are complaining about the difficulties of recruiting workers with the technical skills their businesses demand. Lack of adequate skills is becoming a bottleneck for growth in technologically complex industries, harming government efforts to increase investment in strategic sectors of the economy. In Mexico, the energy reform creates opportunities to generate new jobs and educate and train workers in specialized skillsets, but the country will also face challenges in meeting additional demand for skilled labor.

The reform, which ended state oil company Pemex’s monopoly and opened the electricity sector to increased private participation, will boost economic growth by 1% by 2018 and 2% by 2025, while spurring development of the industrial sector, according to government projections. Many new oil companies, utilities and service providers are expected to enter Mexico and compete for talent in the coming years. New and expanded government agencies will also need more skilled professionals. At the same time, as many as half of Pemex’s employees will be at or near retirement age within a decade. The energy sector will likely see at least $50 billion of new investment by 2018, with each billion dollars yielding 2,700 direct jobs and 2,700 indirect jobs, the government estimates.

However, the absence of quality education at the primary and secondary levels, low enrollment in energy-related higher education programs and weak industry-academia ties mean not enough graduates are prepared to work in the sector…Read more.

Image Credit: New Drill Ship Discover Clear Leader Assists in Oil Recovery / Deepwater Horizon Response / C.C-By-ND 2.0

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