Alegría Activity’s CEO, Juan Jesús Alegría believes that the solution to youth unemployment can only come from above and “we must strive to improve in this regard individually to make the collective result larger”.
We have been able to ascertain that alegria activity is involved in various campaigns to raise awareness throughout the world. Why is the involvement of a company in these campaigns so important?
The involvement of the company directly affects the results of the campaign, which is vital. CSR is currently present in the marketing plans of most companies. The different audiences of an entity (from end-customers, to brokers and even the workers themselves) no longer demand only products or services, but also commitment, responsibility and performance. This is how we have evolved and this is how one survives in the society of communication in which we live.
However, each company chooses to make that commitment something real, or simply convert it into a mere tactic, into a cosmetic affair. Without involvement and without commitment, campaigns are just that, mere aesthetics, mere cosmetics, from which very nice, very showy things can arise, but things that are never authentic and, therefore, without any kind of significance. When we speak about campaigns, and in particular of awareness, the involvement of each of the agents is crucial to achieve change and to achieve results that are not only ‘nice’, but truly genuine.
Is the situation of young people as difficult as the data reflect? What is your perception?
The situation is bad in general, and although the data may change, older people and younger people have been and are the most adversely affected. In the latter case, we are speaking of a vicious circle: ‘I have no experience because I have just finished my studies and they will not hire me because I have no experience’. In such an environment, there are only four options: work for free or for symbolic wages, continue studying (if you can), leave the country and move to another where you can find a job or accept any job.
Obviously, none of these four situations agrees with the premise that has led many young people to make the decision to dedicate several years of their lives to studying, which is working at what they like and feeling fulfilled by their work. It seems that, little by little, we are realising that people should not be hired only based on their experience or credentials, but also on what they can contribute in the long-term, on their dedication, ability to learn, their potential and motivation. Even so, we still have a lot of work to do. This is still a pending task for all and more specifically for companies that continue to look to the short-term and that are unable to see hiring young people as an investment and a real opportunity.
In the particular case of Morocco, where you have a branch, how does youth unemployment affect the country? What measures could be taken to avoid the forced emigration of so many young people?
The answer is virtually included in the question itself. The most visible consequence of youth unemployment in Morocco is emigration and here it is worth mentioning the word forced. The solution to this, as in other African or European countries, can only be that we all strive to make things improve little by little at the global level (because if there is no work, there is no work; not for young people and not for experienced people).
However, speaking specifically of youth unemployment, there is something important to remember: that ‘young people are the future’. The major problem with this phrase is that we hear it a lot, but not many people listen. Young people are the future and if we do not focus on them, if we allow them to leave, we will only be harming our own future, we will be hurting ourselves. The improvement of any youth unemployment situation in any country requires many steps, but the first task is to accept this phrase. We have to stop thinking that the solution can only come from above and we must strive to improve in this regard individually to make the collective result larger.
What do you think about the United Nations Youth Employment Decade project?
75 million young people are unemployed in the world. It is easily said, but 75 million unemployed youths imply a lot of young people without illusion, a lot of wasted talent and resources. In addition to a social drama, it is a mistake for the economy of a country to lose that potential. It is obvious, given the situation, that it is very important to introduce youth employment in the Global Human Development Agenda to control the phenomenon as soon as possible.
For this reason, this project is crucial since, in addition to the individual effort, we can obtain exponentially better results with the support of the relevant institutions at a global level and count with the means and measures to facilitate that change. In addition, it is also an opportunity to observe this situation from a perspective, to self-assess, to change standards and develop towards improved models regarding employment.