Six out of 10 Spanish youths plan to move abroad to find a job, study finds

An EU-wide survey by Vodafone suggests Spaniards are most pessimistic about future

Ramón Muñoz
Madrid protesters bear signs reading: "Interns tired of working for free seek real jobs"
Madrid protesters bear signs reading: "Interns tired of working for free seek real jobs"ÁLVARO GARCIA

Spanish youths are among Europe’s most pessimistic when it comes to their future, a study of several EU member states suggests.

Spanish youngsters feel that they will be worse off than their own parents, while six out of every 10 polled are planning to move abroad in search of a job, according to a survey by the Vodafone Institute for Society and Communications.

The study by the telecoms company surveyed more than 6,000 people aged between 18 and 30 in Britain, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Czech Republic and Spain.

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Spaniards and Italians showed the least confidence in finding a job in their own countries, while 58 percent of Spanish youths said they were planning to move abroad to find a job, compared with 21 percent of young Germans.

Yet this open attitude toward emigration is in contrast with the fact that only one out of four young Spaniards report having ever lived in a different country.

Asked whether they expected better living standards than their parents’ generation, only 29 percent of Spaniards replied affirmatively, compared with 43 percent of Germans.

As for job prospects, only 40 percent of surveyed Spaniards thought they might find an occupation in keeping with their own studies and training, compared with 66 percent of Germans and 59 percent of British youths.

Spain is the only country where “avoiding unemployment” was a more powerful reason to accept a job than the salary

Working conditions also vary considerably from country to country. While 38 to 44 percent of youths in Germany, Britain and Czech Republic have full-time jobs, in Spain and Italy that figure drops to 20 and 18 percent, respectively.

Spain was the only participating country where “avoiding unemployment” was a more powerful reason to accept a job than the salary.

Spain and Italy also showed that young people there stay in school longer to make up for the lack of job opportunities: in Spain, 65 percent of those surveyed continued to study even though they felt they were ready to work.

The most positive results for Spain were in entrepreneurial desire, with 40 percent interested in starting their own business. A majority reported a wish to work in the field of information technology. The main reason for embracing self-employment is a lack of opportunities finding a job with an existing company.

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