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Panama promotes "My first job program" 

Siaska SSS Lorenzo, Maria Paula Orsini,  July 9, 2024

Arias - Siaska SSS Lorenzo and María Paula Orsini, lawyers in Panamá experts in Labor Law, share with us this article on the Executive Decree No. 27 of July 3, 2024 that encourages the hiring of young workers without experience in exchange for benefits to employers participating in the "My First Employment Program" to promote insertion into the labor market.

Unemployment figures in Panama have significantly increased, which is why the newly invested Government of Panama has launched an aggressive program through which a 2019 law is regulated. This law previously created the "Learning by Doing" project without major impact on the offer of first jobs for young people in the private sector.

Thus, DE 27 of 2024 promulgated in the first Cabinet Council of the Executive Branch, decrees in 7 chapters the mechanisms for the registration of Participating Companies, the Scholarships for the beneficiaries and the Tax Incentives, equivalent to twice the minimum wage that each young participant receives during the fourth, fifth and sixth month of the contract, without including overtime.

The development of this program is under the tutelage of the Ministry of Labor (MITRADEL) and is aimed at young people from 17 to 24 years of age who have an academic level of secondary education (Baccalaureate), university or vocational education, including technical training.

Companies interested in benefits must also complete electronically an official form for registration, including general employer data, available positions, the expected start date of work and the data of the worker in charge of the apprentice. Afterwards, an agreement with MITRADEL will be executed to regulate the relationship between the apprentice and the company.

The Program foresees 3 phases of execution, which include:
  1. Phase 1: Training (30 hours in 5 days)
  2. Phase 2: Work Internship (three months)
  3. Phase 3: Obtaining an Employee Status (after completion of the Internship)
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