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EACEA National Policies Platform: Youthwiki
Spain

Spain

3. Employment & Entrepreneurship

3.11 Current debates and reforms

Debates related to employment and youth entrepreneurship in Spain are mainly based on the unemployment issue. For example, in the current legislature, the Congress of Deputies the Citizen's Parliamentary Group launched a Proposition Not of Law to reform the employment policies and to create a salary supplement for the disadvantaged youth, which was succesfully approved in 2018. Another parliamentary group, the Socialist Parliamentary Group, also launched a motion to guarantee the employability of young people, the quality of their hiring and their working conditions. Even more, the Action Plan for Youth Employment has been developped for a three year period (Plan de choque por el empleo jóven 2019-2021) to face the youth employment challenges.

The debate shows a disparity of approaches between the concept of youth unemployment as a consequence of the economic and financial crisis, and another broader perspective pointing towards economic and social planning.

Some analysis points to the need to emphasise policies on youth who have not reached a high level of training, taking into account that the highest rates of youth unemployment are found in the age group between 16 and 24 years of age, that is, young people who drop out early from the training cycle. This leads us to the age issue, the establishment of a closed age range delimiting what is understood as youth, a concept which expands to ever older age in developed societies.

Another debate is related to the need to establish youth employment policies with an emphasis on gender ans aimed to vulnerable populations, understanding that this is crucial in order to address different problems of labour market integration and consolidation.

Finally, debates about the current Spanish labour market focus on two main problems, which are the short-term contracts and job instability and the minimum wage. These problems have been tackled by the salary bonus, mentioned in point 3.5, and the increase of the minimum wage; however, these measures, specially the second one, are still being discussed and judged by the public opinion.

The Youth worker element is another initiative projected to be developed in the Spanish employment and youth entrepreneurship system. It entails the introduction of personnel specialised in orientation and implementation of measures related to youth employment from different bodies and institutions. In fact, 3000 youth workers will take part of the ORIENTAJOVEN programme.

All these issues are further accentuated by the emergence of the SARS-Cov-2 Virus in late 2019-2020, leaving a scenery where thousands of people have lost their job and many businesses have had to close. This crisis has had an even greater impact on young people, studies show that 43.9% of Spanish young workers are currently unemployed.