Various entities are offering young people internships abroad with financial support from the Basque Government

A growing number of young people are emigrating with a view to finalizing their studies or finding their first jobs. According to the National Institute of Statistics, between January 2012 and December 2014, over half a million people aged 18 to 35 have packed their suitcases. These figures will probably increase in coming months given the scarcity of employment and wage difficulties. However, in recent years, several agencies or foundations have provided young people with the opportunity to join the labour market at an international level through internship contracts in companies and institutions.

This is what the Novia Salcedo Foundation is offering, for example, in its Global Training programme. Héctor González Redondo didn’t hesitate to sign-up to this initiative based on the recommendations of a friend. In the opinion of this 22 year-old youth from Bilbao, “this type of grant is a good option for people who have just finished their university studies”. With a wide range of offers, applicants’ greatest concern is not the destination, but “acquiring work experience abroad”. Gonzalez spent November 2014 to June 2015 in London, “the European capital par excellence, where the labour situation is in line with my personal and professional interests”, although he admits that the destination was not the greatest of his concerns.

Solidarity projects

With a degree in Modern Languages by Deusto University, he was awarded a six-month contract with a non-profit making charity association or institution that helps to raise funds for NGO projects, associations or workshops to teach gardening, painting, sports… “Once the projects had been identified, they were offered to various partner companies so that they could form teams of volunteers to cooperate in the initiatives selected”. A completely positive experience in an “enjoyable, healthy and respectful” work environment. And, he adds: “I’ve been lucky enough to live with a team of wonderful people who have made my stay a great experience”.

In order to enrol in the programme, applicants must fulfil a range of requirements: they must be less than thirty years old, have a good level of the language of the requesting country, and never have been awarded a grant previously. They must also be residents of the Basque Autonomous Community. However, what this young man is most grateful about is the subsidy provided by the Basque Government; “6,600 euros which enabled me to pay the full rent of an apartment that was just 10 minutes from work in the heart of the capital”.

What about the future? Héctor González knows what he is going to do: “in September, start visiting companies looking for a job, like most of us, although I do not reject the possibility of studying again”. On his stay in one of the most cosmopolitan cities in Europe, he said that it had been a “fascinating experience that has allowed him to improve his CV”. However, he would not venture to answer whether he would spend another season abroad in spite of the fact that the agreement between grant holders and companies may be extended “based on conditions that are at least the same as those of the first contract”. For the moment, 43 grants have been awarded for the next season.