Monday, April 22

Half of the workers need training courses to requalify


Bricklayers on a building site. / CR

75% of companies have problems finding the profiles they need, especially engineers

Lucia Palacios

High unemployment and temporary employment are not the only problems plaguing the Spanish labor market. Paradoxically, in a country with more than three million unemployed, another concern that has now come to the fore is the shortage of labor in some sectors, increasingly, to the point that the second vice president and minister of Labor, Yolanda Díaz, admitted that there is “a concern” about this matter and announced last week that she will convene unions and employers to seek “outputs” for this talent deficit that the country suffers from and take a series of measures to solve it .

In any case, it cannot be compared to the phenomenon of the ‘Great Resignation suffered by the United States, where the number of unfilled vacancies amounts to 11.5 million, a historical record. From the ministry they stressed that Spain does not have “a very serious problem” of lack of workers. Moreover, they pointed out that it is the EU country with the least impact. Specifically, the proportion of vacancies is around 0.7%, while the European average exceeds 2.5% and in countries such as Germany it is 3.8%.

But the talent deficit is no longer just a lack of personnel, but also more than half of Spanish workers need to requalify to adapt to new challenges and continue to lead their position. What is more, nearly 30% of the workforce would have to carry out training courses of more than three months to prepare, which would last between six months and a year for 9% and would even exceed twelve months for 10 % of employees.

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No youth in construction

The ‘Wanted worker’ poster hangs in the window of many companies for months and with no sign of retiring, as warned by the employers’ association Cepyme and the Randstad Human Resources company, which put more than 109,000 vacancies in these moments they do not find an owner, for the most part in companies with less than 200 workers.

This is what happens to Félix Cuadrado Duque, a businessman in the construction sector, who, with a workforce of 18 people, needs labor and cannot find it. If not so many years ago, at the time of the real estate bubble, many young people abandoned their studies and entered the world of construction encouraged by their high salaries, now they do not want to know anything about this profession. Felix’s message is clear. “We have a major problem with personnel. We do not find skilled labor. There are no young people in the sector at the moment. Today is the birthday of the youngest worker, who turns 40. Today nobody or very few people want to enter the construction sector », he laments, while pointing out that the other big problem they have is that this trade is not learned in a 150-hour course.

But the lack of personnel does not affect only one sector or a few, but is becoming more and more generalized. It also impacts the transport sector, booming due to electronic commerce. This is how Alicia González, owner of the Transportes Boada company, which is dedicated to international transport, mainly passenger cars, denounces it. He warns of a very serious problem because he cannot find drivers for his trucks and denounces that they have to look for them and bring them from Latin America, but it entails a high extra cost, of about 6,000 euros, for the paperwork they have to do to have the necessary insurance and permits. “We have a lot of trouble finding qualified drivers. Right now we have ten trucks stopped and we have work. We bring drivers from Peru, Colombia… But a driver we bring from abroad, until he started working, has been unemployed for 163 days, but collecting payroll. He has given us, between administrative expenses and others, almost 6,000 euros for a man that we have brought who has not worked yet ».

The wood sector has also been dragging a deficit of workers for years. This is confirmed by Gerardo Oliver, owner of a sawmill in the province of Teruel. “We have quite a few labor problems and we have been looking for people for a long time to cut down pine trees and also for the sawmill and we haven’t found them. We have tried to arrange papers for foreigners but Immigration puts brakes. Right now we have 17 employees but we could have 24 people on staff », he assures.

Missing doctors and teachers

The vast majority of Spanish companies, 75%, are already experiencing difficulties in finding candidates with the right profiles, according to a recent report published by IESE.

From the ministry they admit punctual problems to fill vacancies in sectors such as construction and hospitality, as well as to find highly qualified personnel linked to technological change. According to the aforementioned study carried out by Cepyme and Randstad, health and education are the sectors that have had the most difficulty in filling vacancies. It is closely followed by engineering, marketing and advertising activities, telecommunications and the transport and logistics sector.

21% have left their job

The pandemic has suddenly changed many of the habits and priorities of the Spanish. Also in relation to employment. Flexibility is becoming one of the great demands of workers, to the point that 21% have left their jobs after this crisis due to the lack of flexibility in their company, while another 28% have considered it , according to a recent study by Linkedin.

58% of those surveyed say that after the pandemic they have realized that work is not their only priority and 60% explain that they prefer to work in a more flexible way that allows them to develop in other aspects of their lives. Moreover, the lack of flexibility has already become the main reason for resigning, even ahead of salary, and it has become a problem for professionals, especially women. In fact, one in five have decided to leave their job because they have been forced to choose between caring for their children or their professional career, twice as many as men.


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