Discouragement is spreading among Spanish youth. According to the report on young people and the labour market conducted by the Employment Innovation Observatory (OIE), eight out of ten university and vocational training students are not very hopeful of working in Spain at jobs related to what they are studying. The main reasons leading to this pessimism include the gap between education, young people’s expectations and the needs of the labour market. The study, promoted by Adecco, stresses that this feeling increases among students of Humanities, as 89% believe they will not get a job related to their qualifications. At the opposite extreme, the lowest figures correspond to business administration and management studies; even so, the percentage is around 75%.

Although opinions on joining the labour market are, in general, negative, there are differences between the views of Vocational Training and University students. Six in ten university students believe that the gap that needs to be overcome to reach the labour market is excessive, a view shared by four in ten vocational training students.

Inadequate training

The young people interviewed see the training they receive at educational centres as inadequate. The basic guidelines followed when preparing a study programme are insufficient according to 69% of university students; especially in the public university system (70% compared with 62% in the private sector). However, among vocational training students, this figure falls to 42%. Worse figures have been obtained for other key aspects related to finding a job, such as writing a letter of introduction or group dynamics, a personnel selection technique in which 85% of university students have not received any training.
Their limited competence in these skills is added to the perception that the profiles companies are seeking are becoming increasingly demanding. This is the opinion of 67% of university students and 65% of vocational training students. Surprisingly, half of the companies consulted also believe that the skills they require from candidates to cover a given position are too rigorous. In this sense, the study conducted by the Observatory has detected that Spanish university students overrate languages and IT skills while they do not give sufficient consideration to key aspects of daily work, such as motivation or a capacity for teamwork.