Developing research and innovation capacities of Latinamerican HEI for the analysis of informal labour market
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Seminar “Categories and methodologies for the analysis of labour informality” took place online on April 2nd 2020

The Seminar “Categories and methodologies for the analysis of labour informality” took place online on ZOOM platform on April 2nd 2020. This activity was part of the local replication seminars carried out in the framework of LATWORK Project: Developing research and innovation capacities of Latinamerican HEI for the analysis of Informal Labour Market, project co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Commission.

The seminar “Categories and methodologies for the analysis of labour informality” was organized by the three LATWORK project partner universities in Chile, Universidad Viña del Mar, Universidad San Sebastián and Universidad de Magallanes. More than a hundred people, among universities’ academic and administrative staff and also external public of other Chilean and international institutions and organisations connected online and participated in the seminar.

The Seminar started with an introduction by Meritxell Calbet, Director of International Cooperation in Universidad Viña del Mar and General Coordinator of the Erasmus+ LATWORK project, about the Erasmus+ Project LATWORK: Developing research and innovation capacities of Latinamerican HEI for the analysis of Informal Labour Market, its objectives and activities.

After that, four experts participated with presentation about several topics regarding labour informality: its definitions, theory and standards, and measuring standards. Ana María Fernandez, academic of the Department of “Política y Gobierno” of Universidad Alberto Hurtado gave a conference with the title “Definitions of informality, theories and changes of paradigm”. In this presentation the expert explained some definitions of informality from several perspectives, for example, from a labour market perspective. Moreover, she summed up the theories about labour market segmentation and informality from a chronological point of view and with focus on the Latin-American context. She finished her speech by talking about the new ways of employment and new informality related to global economy and the new paradigms of this informality in the 21st Century.

Likewise, Marcela Cabeza, regional statistician for Latin-America and the Caribbean of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in her conference “International Standards for measuring informality and the present and future challenges”, gave an overview of the conceptual framework of measurement of the informal economy and the definitions of informal sector, informal employment and the ways of measurement of the latter. The expert also focused in the measurement of the informal economy in Chile. In order to conclude, she presented some present future challenges in the measurement of informality related to the changes in the statistical measurements, the impact of shocks like the Chilean social uprising in October 2019 or the global situation COVID-19 crisis, and the impact that the latter will have on the collection of official statistics.

Afterwards, Jürgen Weller, Ex Jefe de la Unidad de Estudios del Empleo de la División de Desarrollo Económico, CEPAL, gave a presentation on“Measuring, analysis and policy options in informality” in which he explained several policies in order to promote the transition towards formal employment, especially regarding regulations, incentives and audits and examples of their impact. As a conclusion, he mentioned several challenges about the measurement of labour informality and formalisation policies, highlighting the importance of looking for an integrated approach of all the different origins of labour informality.

The last presentation was given by Sergio Majluf, National Director of Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Employability of Universidad San Sebastián and its title was “Context and Labour Market: Development of employability abilities in Higher Education”. In his talk, the expert spoke from the educational point of view and mentioned the methodology and challenges that Higher Education Institutions face in order to prepare students for labour market, which is in constant change, and in which informality is entangled. To conclude, Sergio Majluf moderated the questions of the participants through the chat of the virtual platform. These presentations undoubtedly rose interest among the participants, due to the current situation, where the global transformation of the world and the expansion of the virus COVID-19, the questions about labour market and informality issues will continue increasing.

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