By Wendy Andersen
AS the billions of bailout money are directed at recapitalising Spanish banks, little will trickle down to Spanish youth.
Unemployment among 15 to 24 year olds in Spain has already reached 51 per cent, or 1.5 million youths.
And Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy recently said he expects the country’s economy to get worse before it gets better, specifically pointing out that unemployment increases are expected.
The lack of work has resulted in 37 per cent of 25 to 34 year-olds having to remain at home living off the goodwill of their parents.
Indeed the economic crisis has prevented a whole generation from starting careers and families, and is being dubbed the ‘Peter Pan generation’ because they cannot grow up, leave home or get on with their lives.
As the time between graduation and finding a job increases, the skills graduates have learned become outdated and stagnant.
Unable to practice their professions, young Spaniards risk falling further and further behind.
“For the rest of their lives, they’re damaged,” says Katherine Newman, a sociologist and dean at Johns Hopkins University.
“They don’t recover occupationally, their earnings are depressed for 20 years, and they don’t marry at the same rate.”
So with little hope of finding employment in their homeland, many Spaniards are looking for jobs in other countries, Germany in particular.
The number of Spaniards moving to Germany increased by 49 per cent in 2011 compared to the previous year.
All over Spain classes in German are oversubscribed as the unemployed try to boost their job prospects.
With low unemployment, Germany has launched a campaign to attract skilled workers, through its website, www.make-it-in-germany.com aimed specifically at helping foreigners who want to move to Germany. It’s certainly paying off.