I would like to tell you about the situation of youth unemployment in Spain as an example of the differences between our country and other European societies, as the economic crisis doesn’t hit all of us in the same manner.
After years of economic cuts in social policies, unemployed young Spaniards have become part of the landscape.
Over 50% of our youth, many of which are parents themselves and under 31, do not have a job. In some regions, like Andalusia in the South of Spain, the figure of unemployed youngsters can be as high as 65%.
This is not a problem that belongs to our young ones. It has become a nation-wide problem.
1. Unemployment has become structural. One out of every two youngsters is unemployed and lacks real perspectives of finding a job.
2. Precariousness has also become structural: in excess of 70% of the contracts that young people are offered are temporary. Our youth cannot become independent or even dream of building their own family. It is often the case that young women are employed in the black economy, barely earning enough to survive.
3. Economic exile is structural as well: 48% of our youngsters are ready to move to another country. A generation that is said to be the better prepared in our history is being forced to turn themselves into cheap labour in the North of Europe. Now we find engineers, architects and other kind of graduates earning a living as waiters.
The European Commission took the experience of the Scandinavian countries to recommend the application of the so called ‘Youth Guarantee’: a programme designed to improve the access of the younger ones to the labour market, for which 6 Billion Euros were destined.
To Spain, with a rate of youth unemployment (53%) only surpassed by that of Greece, 1.8 billion Euros have been assigned, that will come within the next two years. This money goes only for youngsters who are 25 or below, and not studying. We have one and a half million people between 25 and 35 years old who are not studying or have any other occupation.
We must remember the millions of Euros dedicated to saving the financial system or the billions that have been used to support the Ukrainian government.
To us, the United Left, the basic problem faced by Spain is not the overqualification of our youngsters, nor the social coverage. The problem lies in our incapacity to provide a quality job to everyone.
In this context the conservative government is setting down new rules to limit the access to the university for millions of youngsters who will be left with nothing to do and no expectations for their future. A generation that lacks a tomorrow.
This is the situation that we are currently living.
One of the measures that he proposes is to create a structural plan that attacks formal and informal education. This requires 3% of the European GDP for the next 10 years, and resorting to the funds of the BEI. In particular, two main areas of education for the new generations seem relevant: Renewable Energies and Social Economy.