Youth unemployment is one of the priorities of the UN, which has estimated that there are about 75 million young people out of work worldwide. According to the European Union (EU), over 5.3 million Europeans under 25 are unable to find a job even though all institutions acknowledge that this is the most highly-skilled generation in recent times.

The data produced by the European Statistics Office, Eurostat, indicate that youth unemployment in the EU-28 increased from 14.8 percent in 2005 – before the financial crisis commenced – to 18.7 percent in 2013. Statistics are always impersonal, however, a poll commissioned by the European Parliament last April on occasion of EYE2014 involving Europeans aged 16 to 30, revealed that 57 percent of respondents said that the crisis has marginalized and excluded young people from the economic and social life in their countries.

Furthermore, 43 percent showed a desire to work, study or train in another EU country and 26 percent said they had no option, due to the economic crisis, but to move to another EU country to study or work. In this regard, the World Labour Organization (ILO) has estimated that there are currently 232 million “international migrants, representing 31.1 percent of the global population, 48 percent of them are women who migrate for work.

Sara Alvarez, civil engineer. Aged 31

Sara Alvarez is an example of this migration; a civil engineer aged 31, with 3 years’ work experience who has been unemployed for 4 years. She is now preparing to travel to Singapore, a country that has given her a career opportunity that she has been unable to find within the European Union. In spite of looking for something closer to home, taking German lessons and after a three-month internship in Viena, she will change continents to obtain a job in line with her training on the Singapore underground. “It seems that the only solution for young Spaniards is to migrate because there is no incentive to create jobs here. I have a three-year contract, but if things go well, I doubt I’ll be coming back to Spain in the short term”.

Inés Cueto, surveyor. Aged 31

Inés Cueto is the same age as Sara. She is a qualified Surveyor and has taken numerous courses on occupational health & safety and energy certifications; however, all this has not helped her to find a job in the field she trained for at university. “I have never been able to work on a construction site. I’ve been taking part-time jobs in fashion shops and fast-food establishments but nothing related to my profession” she complains. Therefore, after deciding to leave the country, she turned to an agency to seek advice on how to study or work abroad. Finally, with her savings and help from her family, she decided to travel to Sydney (Australia) to improve her English and find a job opportunity. “I am determined. I have inquired and I think I can have a future there”, she says.