The new technologies sector is still generating many employment opportunities. The European Commission estimates that by 2015, we shall be needing more than 700,000 professionals in scientific and technical fields across Europe, posing a clear employment opportunity. An estimate confirmed by the Research Centre for Science and Mathematics Education (CRECIM): “STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) professions are the occupations with the highest growth forecasts, with an estimated 14% increase over the next five years”.

However, despite these forecasts, the numbers of students enrolling for science and technology studies in Spain have fallen by 15% in the last decade. A survey conducted by CRECIM highlights the need to promote a technologically and scientifically literate society in order to improve the employability of young Spaniards. This the purpose of Tech Start, an initiative promoted by Indra, Fundación Telefónica, Accenture, Altran, Microsoft and HP, and which is open to other institutions and companies. Its aim is to promote scientific and technical studies in the earliest stages of compulsory education.

This project is part of the European e-Skills campaign, developed in five key areas from outreach activities through exhibitions, campaigns, technological camps and other events; teacher training through the provision of tools and knowledge; resources, information and advice through the Tech Start website; contact with the professional environment, with talks in schools and colleges, workshops, etc.

Greater connection between academia and industry

Another line of action focuses on bringing the world of business to educational institutions to promote career opportunities based on a practical approach. This measure intends to reduce the difficulties that many young people encounter when they progress from their academic life to the employment market.

A need that King Felipe VI mentioned at the official opening of the university academic year 2014/2015. In his speech, he encouraged academic institutions to go beyond their teaching and research work and “continue to explore ways to collaborate with businesses to enhance economic growth and generate jobs”. An effort to prevent young people “feeling frustrated regarding their hopes and expectations at the end of their university studies”.