A brighter future?

02Job security, ensuring a decent salary and office hours are at the top of millions of young Spaniards’ wish lists; or so the statistics would indicate. According to the report Young Business Talents, young Spaniards are the most likely out of all Europeans to opt for a position in the civil service as the best option for the future, at 32% this indicator is well above the country next in the ranking, Italy, with 17%.

I was surprised by a number of details in this report. For example, the service sector, both public and private, is considered to be the most attractive field for 86.7% of youngsters, compared to the industrial sector (10.7%) and agricultural and livestock sector (2.7%). I am also surprised that 89% are willing to change their place of residence. Actually I find some of the data very interesting, yet full of nuances, that would give rise to some interesting headlines about the thoughts of those that in a few years time will enter into the job market to later become the leaders of the Spain of the future.

It seems that the concept of security, linked with the objective of entering in to the civil service, is a deeply rooted idea in our society and that young people are assuming at increasingly younger ages. Surprisingly the idea that ‘the father-state will provide for my needs and solve my problems’ is twice as common in comparison with other countries such as Italy, Portugal and Greece. The second fact that strikes me is the lack of interest shown towards the industrial sector. At a time when there is talk about European ‘Re-industrialization’, it would seem that this is an idea or a concept that does not appeal to them. I would hope that in this report when discussing the service sector, people refer to R & D, innovation and quality,  in other words sectors that generate high added value and not to other sectors (which unfortunately is the impression given) that do not generate much wealth. Finally, it seems that the concept of job mobility is well established among young people. I think this change of mindset is good news because we have to adapt to a world that knows no borders. I’m pleased.

I have always maintained that we must invest in and make a commitment to quality education. Undoubtedly, it is the best option for a country that wishes to change the future despite the fact that return on that investment would be in the long term. Education should impart knowledge and facilitate young people’s integration into the job market. To this end, I advocate an even closer relationship between the academic world and business to train our young people well and gradually integrate them into the job market.

I think we should encourage more international student exchanges because it is necessary in this world of globalisation to master other languages, learn about other cultures and gain life experiences thus enabling us to relativise and question our most traditional environment. Only then will we move forward as a society and will we be at the forefront of knowledge, development and progress.

We need to be attentive to the thoughts and worries of young people. They are the ones who will take over from us. We must facilitate this transition at this very difficult time of life where there are so many important decisions to be made. It is our responsibility to make a commitment and invest in the quality of their education.

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