Since the beginning of the century, Spain far exceeds the OECD average in the percentage of young people who neither study nor work, known as NEETs. If we make the comparison only with the EU, our country is even worse in the still photo. Only Italy surpasses us. And the pandemic, like all crises, exacerbates the problem. The record figures for 2012, with almost one in three young people defining themselves as NEET, 27.2% of the total and ten points above the average for developed countries, were gradually reduced until 2019, 18.3 %. In 2020, with the outbreak of the pandemic, we have once again seen a worrying rebound. 18.5% of the
Spanish population between 15 and 29 years old neither studies nor works, compared to the average 13.4% of the countries that are part of the organization. And the figures are worse if we reduce the age bracket: 22% of young people between 18 and 24 years old can be considered NEETs.
And we are also leaders in Europe and among the main developed countries in another ranking, that of school failure and the percentage of repeating students. And all this has only one solution: adequate training to be able to find a job.
Given these figures, we can cheat on our own and try to get out of these top positions in the repeater ranking by letting go of the course with several failures, as it does.
the ‘Celaá law’Not only by not solving the problem but by increasing it, because we will have young people who are increasingly poorly trained. Or we can look for formulas to reinforce those who are left behind and to motivate them to train for their future. And let’s not fool ourselves, as the philosopher and pedagogue assures us on ABC Gregorio Luri, «
school failure does not affect the least intellectually capable, but the least motivated».
And another important leg, and in this case if the reform approved by the Government is on the right track, is the
new professional training law, approved in the Council of Ministers at the beginning of this month of September and which is now being processed in Parliament. From the CEOE employers’ association it was applauded because “it includes proposals that have historically been transferred from the business sphere to bring VET closer to the needs of the productive fabric, such as a greater participation of the social partners in its governance; the promotion of its dual character or the linking of training centers with companies ”.
Historically in Spain we have been the parents themselves and society in general who have degraded this type of studies and those who opted for them. We all wanted our kids to go to college, generating in many cases frustration and turning many faculties into factories for the unemployed.
Little by little, and with the appearance of middle-grade studies, how good employability results They have, this conception is beginning to change and we hope that the new norm, if it finally manages to implement this dual training and train specialists in so many areas that are now short of manpower, will give the definitive boost to vocational training. We are doing a lot about it, among other things, getting out of that black list of countries with the highest number of young people with school failure, and who neither study nor work. And we can also reduce another list, that of youth unemployment.
A separate chapter deserves the new rise in the minimum wage, which accumulates a 50% increase in five years, and that it can also put stones in the way in those first work steps of many young people, especially those with less training, but we will talk about that another day.