Initiatives in Galicia, Asturias and Portugal are intended to attract young workers to this sector

The current phase of economic growth in Europe would probably not have occurred if industrial enterprises had not recovered their historical role as the driving force of development. Competitiveness, innovation and labour stability are some of its virtues. However, the boom this strategic sector has seen could be interrupted through the lack of skilled labour.

Metal businesses in Spain and Portugal have launched several campaigns to try to alleviate a problem that clashes with the high unemployment rates in both countries. The Federación Lusoglaica de Industiales Metalúrgicos (Feluga), which brings together metallurgical businesses from Galicia and Portugal, has recently announced joint actions to hire 28,000 workers; 25,000 in Portugal and 3,000 in Galicia.

One of the strategies will focus on improving the vocational training of workers and making the sector more attractive to young jobseekers. Portuguese businesses have estimated their activity grew between 2% and 5% in 2018. The metal industry has practically become the most important element in industrial processing and accounts for 18% of GDP in Portugal. This growth is now at risk due to the shortage of labour. Feluga comprises two thousand companies that employ 80,000 people.

Online information

Asturias is another region that wants to raise awareness regarding job opportunities in the metal industry. Femetal, the Asturian Association of Metal Industry Businesses, has launched a website that details the skills and training required for each of the 30 most typical jobs in this sector.

The secretary general of Femetal, María Pérez Media, referred to this initiative as “a key tool to attract young people to the metal industry”, one of the most dynamic sectors in the regional economy, with some of the most sought-after professions.

The website will also help businesses to hire people, career counsellors to advise jobseekers, and the local administrations to programme training courses for the unemployed.