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Youth and Unemployment

November 23rd, 2012 by Ana García Muñoz

One of the most dramatic consequences of the current crisis is the increase in unemployment amongst young people.A situation that constitutes a serious problem throughout Europe but is specially troubling in Spain where the unemployment rate amongst the youth is more than 50 percent.

In Spain, is the result of economic policies based on austerity measures: cuts in public education, in R&D (Research and Development), budget cuts in the University system, increasing courses fees at high levels and a reform in our  labour market that clearly destroy jobs rather than create them.

Our goverment consideres these measures to be a necessary evil that citizens must suffer in order to emerge from the crisis.

In view of this catastrophic scena that our politicians have created, this alarming increase of unemployment is hardly surprising.The measures taken not only produce unemployment but also poverty, huge social inequality ,suffering and no hope for the future.

We are living in a time in which  the only important thing is the pursuit of money, above all, where the world of money is leading our lives  without social and human rights, and where, young people are victims of a runaway capitalism which allows this situation to arise.

As the sociologist Alain Touraine said : “Don´t talk about “recovery policies”  only about rigorous austerity.There are no new economic nor social alternatives.Nobody has a solution.”

Regarding young people, he also adds: ” They are not only confused, in fact, there are no clues, there is no way , there is no right,left ,forward, back..”.

Expressions such as “lost generation”  and NEETs( not in Employment,Education or Training) are used to describe the situation of young people. As far  as I´m concerned I don´t agree with these expressions; they don´t reflect what is really happpening.

Most young people cannot study as they don´t have enough money to do so and they cannot work because there are no jobs.

Beatriz Pérez is 27  years old and has a degree in Chemistry.She said- “We are not a lost generation, we are a forgotten generation.

She also  considered that politicians talk about the importance of training and the dropout problem but don´t give solutions.

She said “Who remembers that we young people have done everything that was espected of us? We have studied  Degrees, Másters, Languages…; How can you motivate future generations to grow if the ones who have been educated are called lost?”.

Pedro Martínez ,24 years old, has been wiyhout a job since to years ago. He has left his studies due to economic problems.He doesn´t like the expression NEET.He said ” I´m not a neet because I don´t have a job because of the circumnstances. I would like to have had more opportunities to finish my studies.

As a result,most of young people have been forced to emigrate to the North of Europe and beyond finding better  opportunities.In fact, new migratory flows from Southern Countries (basically Spain and Greece) to Nothern Countries are emerging.

A phenomenon that affects both qualified and  unqualified people.

But the problem goes far beyond youth  unemployment.In today´s dinamic economy with the rapid development of the labour market in many sctors (tecnological, organizational..) many young people with degrees ,but long term unemployment, are considered inadequated for the “new jobs” , so they can forced to work to make a living in low skilled jobs despite having a higher education.And for those that no have qualifications the result is expulsion from the system.

The general strikes that took place last 14 th of November reflected the outrage and unhappiness of people with the austerity measures.It´s inadmissible that  the German goverment wit their army of sevants,including Spaín´s goverment , adopted measures that lead only to destruction of countries. Measures that so far have been shown to be ineffective in finding an exit from the crisis.

Where are the éthic and morality in such measures? We cannot accept policies that only create high levels of unemployment, poverty, suicides..

In summary, policies which are built on people´s suffering.

So, What is the sense in these politics? there is none at this time.Politicies must be based on the  needs of people and not on specific interests of global speculation.

What does Europe want to do with Spain and with the rest of Southern European Countries?  What means Europe at this moment?  Are with on a path to disintegration?

The last strkikes wre more than justified ;people were only fifghting  for a decent  life and for their rights.

 

 

 

One Response to “Youth and Unemployment”

  1. Pekka Kamarainen says:

    Ana has raised serious issues. This grim picture was heavily present at the European Conference on Educational Research (ECER’12) last September in Cadiz. VETNET, the European umbrella network for research in vocational education and training (VET) dedicated its opening session for the topic “Crisis, Youth Unemployment and the Role of VET”. The following link leads to a brief summary of that session on the Virtual Community page of a recent European project:

    http://coop-pbl.com/en/archives/1578

    I know that it is not much of an answer to say that European researchers have discussed this issue (with inputs from Spain, Germany and Australia). Yet, I hope that our joint discussion was not mere lip-service but paved a way to initiatives and proposals how to tackle such problems as Ana mentioned in our future projects.

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