SPAIN: Program promotes better employment opportunities for youth
Salesian Social Platforms launches campaign to raise awareness of youth unemployment
(MissionNewswire) Salesian Social Platforms in Madrid, Spain, has launched the “Experiences without decent work” campaign to invite people to reflect on the unemployment and underemployment faced by more than nearly 11 million people in the country. Salesian Social Platforms manages 131 social and work integration projects in which it supports more than 33,000 people, employs 600 and has 100 volunteers.
Youth in Spain are more pessimistic about the job situation today than they were a year ago, and they have been hard hit by the pandemic. While youth are more educated today than their parents were, they have worse prospects for work. When asked recently what their perspectives on the future are, their responses were largely negative. One respondent said, “Work today is precarious and hinders the life plans of many people.” Another added, “It’s a frustrating time, but we young people have an obligation to persevere and not give up.”
Salesian schools, social platforms and youth centers in Spain are working to prepare youth for livable wage, long-term employment, while also collaborating with public administrations and businesses to make decent work tangible and accessible.
Salesian missionaries and the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians operate 52 vocational training centers that educate 15,000 students and employ 1,200 educators. These centers also offer placement offices, job grants and guidance services to help young people find work.
A Salesian representative noted, “Building relationships with companies and offering tailored coursework to provide them skilled labor plays a very important role. In turn, these companies, in years of economic and social crisis, have given rise to new and original initiatives to place young people in preferential market niches.”
In addition to Salesian vocational centers, there are 99 Salesian youth centers throughout Spain that support 36,000 youth and employ 4,350 staff. These centers are also working to improve the employment opportunities of youth. The Confederation of Don Bosco Youth Centers is a founding member of the Reconoce Association, which requires certification of the skills acquired through volunteering. It has launched the campaign, “Our future work is a meme” to denounce the employment situation of today’s young people, raise awareness in society and inform public bodies on the need to improve the employment situation for youth.
Salesian missionaries have been working for many years to provide educational and workforce development opportunities for poor youth and women in Spain through residential, technical and vocational training programs. Although teachers are available to start providing distance learning again in the event of a new lockdown, the importance of face-to-face education is emphasized in Salesian schools.
Close to 37 percent of young Spanish workers under the age of 25 are unemployed and a growing number of them can’t afford to buy enough food to live. Poor youth with few employable skills struggle the most to find and retain stable employment. Women in Spain face inequality in the workforce. They earn up to 14 percent less than men and represent only 34.5 percent of those listed as the highest earners in Spain.
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Salesian Missions – Spain
World Bank – Spain