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Young people’s situation in Spain

Spanish young people are better educated than ever before, but despite this they don’t succeed in getting a job, at least not within the education that they have.

University of Salamanca

University of Salamanca
Phot: Wikipedia

As many as 41% are overqualified for their current jobs and many young people are choosing to move abroad to find work, both in Europe and South America.

Enrique Hernandez, Vice President of The Youth Institute (Instituto de la Juventud), says that Spain is missing a thoughtful plan for education and employment for the youth. The unemployment rate for university graduates is three times higher than the OECD average.

Staggering 77% of young people aged 16- 30 years are living with their parents and among those who are 30-34 years old, 25.5% have not yet become independent.

The cost of living is a factor in the overall picture. House prices have fallen since the economic crisis began, but because wages are so low, it does not help. According to statistics those younger than 30 years, spend half of their income on rent.

Young women earn on average € 1,042 / year less than men. Despite this, there are more women than men who are able to care for themselves. The reasons why so many young people are unable to leave their childhood home or need to move back to her parents, are unemployment, seasonal, part-time work, low wages and high cost of living.

Spain is the European country with the highest percentage of young people who are neither in work or study, and ranks second after Greece in terms of youth unemployment. It is now being discussed to amend the labor market and the working hours. “If we who already have jobs could work fewer hours, the young could people get a chance to get into the workforce,” says anthropologist Javier Aroca.

Around the country there are various smaller initiatives to tackle youth unemployment. In Almeria for example, the project empl@joven (jobs for youth) created 68 jobs for young people in a six-month program funded by the Junta de Andalusia.