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巴西全力避免经济陷阱

Amy Kaslow 2014年01月17日

近些年来,巴西经济增长迅速,甚至有人评价称,它用20年的时间走完了美国花了200年才走过的发展道路。但巴西经济的发展速度远远超过了合格技术工人的培养和供应速度。要维持目前的经济发展势头,它必须竭尽全力避开这个陷阱。

????2013年10月,教师和支持者在里约热内卢集会,呼吁政府改善公共教育和服务。

????巴西眼下陷入了困境。尽管这个国家不仅拥有丰富的自然资源,同时还是全球最具实力的工业生产国之一,但它极度缺乏它的经济赖以增长的人力资源,即技术工人。

????过去20年间,巴西经济增长迅速,取得了“美国历经200年才获得的成就,”美国驻巴西大使托马斯?香农赞叹道。他最近刚刚结束华盛顿驻巴西利亚首席外交官的任期,现担任国务卿约翰?克里的高级顾问。

????巴西是世界第六大经济体,是世界农产品(糖、咖啡、柑桔、牛肉、家禽和大豆)和工业制成品(从飞机到疫苗)的头号出口国,而且有望很快跻身全球最大的石油供应国之列。

????但经济的迅猛增速已经远远超过了为提供高质量、低门槛教育而融资办学的速度,而学校肩负着为巴西培养合格工人的职责。这种情况导致的结果是:技术和知识工人严重缺乏,难以满足巴西经济的需要。

????主办今年世界杯和2016年夏季奥运会的成本不断攀升,进一步加大了巴西的财政压力。巴西已经投入巨资兴建体育场馆和其他公共设施,以容纳观赏国际赛事的游客(巴西政府希望游客数量能够达到数百万人次)。这些准备工作预计将耗费超过1万亿美元的公共和私人资金。

????巴西最有影响力的企业和行业协会会长罗布森?布拉加?安德拉德指出,这项体育盛事的准备工作依然在全天候进行,里约热内卢和其他城市都笼罩在建设工地的灰尘之中。身为巴西能源和自动化集成系统供应商ORTENG Equipamentos e Sistemas公司总裁,安德拉德已经成为一位经验丰富的人才发掘者。像许多巴西雇主一样,他时常在国内和外国劳动力市场物色合适的工人。他说:“我们亟需工程师。”

????尽管巴西自称已经实现了充分就业,起重机和推土设备在全国各地随处可见,但很多人都掉队了。据联合国和世界银行(World Bank )估计,有超过四分之一的巴西人生活在贫困线附近或贫困线上(妇女,青年和小农户是最脆弱的群体),不仅喝不上清洁水,就连污水处理和邮件传递等基本服务也无法享受。巴西现有的电力网络、通信电网、道路、轨道交通,机场和海港都严重不足,根本满足不了它当前的需要。

????包括安德拉德在内的巴西雇主希望扭转这一趋势。“让高中辍学生接受职业技能培训将促使他们努力学习,获得文凭。” 安德拉德同时还是巴西全国工业培训服务的负责人,他希望今年能够让超过400万名学员进入就业市场。他列举了许多因缺乏技术人才而陷于困境部门,比如石油、天然气、土木建筑和制造业。这些有着千丝万缕联系的行业轻轻松松就能消化几百万合格工人。

????Brazil is in a bind. It has a wealth of natural resources and is among the most powerful industrial producers in the world, but the nation's economic growth hinges on skilled workers it doesn't have.

????The country has grown fast, achieving in the past 20 years what "it took the United States to accomplish in 200 years," marvels Ambassador Thomas Shannon, who recently finished his tour as Washington's top envoy to Brasilia and now serves as a senior advisor to Secretary of State John Kerry.

????The world's sixth largest economy, Brazil is a top exporter of farm products (sugar, coffee, oranges, beef, poultry, soy) and manufactured goods (from airplanes to vaccines) and it may join the ranks of the world's biggest oil suppliers before long.

????But rapid development has far outpaced financing for quality and accessible schools that can turn out work-ready Brazilians. The result: a dearth of skills and knowledge to satisfy economic demand.

????Intensifying the pressure are the escalating costs of hosting this year's World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics. Brazil has made huge investments in stadiums and other public facilities to accommodate the millions of tourists it hopes to attract to the international games. The drawdown on public and private funds combined is expected to exceed $1 trillion.

????Preparation for the two sporting events continues 24/7, with Rio and other cities blanketed in construction project dust, according to Robson Braga de Andrade, who heads Brazil's most influential business and industry association. As president of ORTENG Equipamentos e Sistemas, a Brazilian provider of integrated energy and automation systems, Andrade has become a seasoned talent scout. Like many Brazilian employers, he scours domestic and foreign labor markets for the right workers: "We are in desperate need of engineers," he says.

????Despite Brazil's claims of full employment, and cranes and earthmoving equipment that dot the nation's landscape, many people have been left behind. United Nations and World Bank data estimates that more than a quarter of the country's population lives near or at the poverty line (women, youth, and small farmers are the most vulnerable) with no access to clean water, sewage treatment, or even mail delivery. And Brazil's existing power networks, communications grids, roadways, mass transit, airports, and seaports are all grossly inadequate to meet the country's current needs.

????Andrade and his fellow employers want to reverse this trend. "Enrolling high school dropouts in vocational training," he says, "will prompt them to work for their diploma." Andrade oversees the national industrial training service and hopes to prepare upwards of four million trainees this year. He ticks off the many sectors -- oil, gas, civil construction, manufacturing, all inextricably linked -- stymied by skills shortages that can easily absorb millions of qualified workers.

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