Making the leap from the classroom to the job market has never been easy. It is a moment of rupture in which illusion and fear mix. Or so it was until 2020. The 10,000 students who have completed their training in the Basque Country this year have found a tremendous panorama. The pandemic has forced the suspension of exchange programs, the expected practices in companies have been postponed and the veil of the economic crisis covers all areas. Despite everything, the Novia Salcedo Foundation launched, back in April, and in the worst of confinement, to launch ‘Reactívate’, a scholarship program for young people.
Until now 415 people have benefited from it. The plan has the collaboration of the Department of Employment and Social Policies of the Basque Government, which financially supports the companies that host 207 of them. “In large industries everything stopped due to the Covid-19 crisis, but in small ones, those of innovation, the bio sector, sustainability … we saw that it grew, that there was room to create jobs,” recalls Elisa Mena, from ‘ staff ‘of the Foundation. In record time they contacted the Executive, companies and students. The response from all of them was so positive that 2,500 candidates have been left in the pipeline that “we have not even been able to answer,” they acknowledge.
Iñigo Lizarraga was one of the first students to sign up. Its trajectory includes a degree and a master’s degree in Industrial Engineering and a master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering. «When I found out about the call I immediately entered the web“Recalls this 26-year-old from Algorta. After going through interviews ‘online’, distance training and various procedures, he joined Enforced at the beginning of July. Before him, the facilities of an innovative micro-company that since 2016 and with 14 workers is dedicated to providing engineering services and installations of technological spaces related to the health sector. They collaborate, for example, with Bexel Medical, the Gipuzkoan firm that the central government has commissioned to manufacture masks on a large scale.
At Enforced they are giving him “more responsibilities than he expected” and he is aware that he is living some atypical practices. «I go in person from 08.00 to 14 hours And since you can’t eat on the premises due to the pandemic, I work from home in the afternoon, ”he says. This allows you to be trained in the most difficult part of your job in the morning “and get the simplest things done” in the second half of your workday. Still, he misses the more human aspects of his position on the spot. María José Sánchez, her tutor at the company, recalls, for example, that the coronavirus has forced the suspension of informal Fridays. «It is a day that we establish to socialize together, have a drink, relax and make a team. It worked very well and unfortunately Iñigo is not living it, ”he explains.
In the end, the balance made by all parties is good. Lizarraga looks to the future with a certain optimism. He does not know if he will continue in Enforced, but he is aware that the sector he has chosen is “growing little by little”. The same happens in Novia Salcedo, where they have contacted a reality they did not know, that of micro, small and medium-sized innovation companies.
«We have worked with the health clusters, Ihobe, Aklima, Euskalit …. Before we did not touch the biosalud part, we did not receive offers and they have been a discovery. In addition, companies that have to do with digital strategy have been incorporated “, they detail from the Foundation. And there are more news. «Before, companies demanded engineering profiles, ADE … very specific training. Now they are more open. Someone from advertising can be the engine of the digital transformation of a company. That was unthinkable years ago », Elisa Mena details. Without a doubt, the pandemic has changed everything.
is the percentage of companies that consider converting scholarships into stable contracts.
years is the average age of the young people who participate in ‘Reactívate’.
The Covid “could have diminished his professional development”
‘Reactívate’ has had a game of 1.1 million euros from the Basque Government. Launched in the hardest part of the pandemic and in record time, the part of the program financed with this public aid has allowed 207 young people to do internships. “They have excellent training, adapted to the digital world and the harsh situation caused by Covid-19 could have diminished their development and professional growth. Luckily, that has not been the case “, they point out from the direction of Youth. Based on the results, the department also highlights that the market “demands competitive professionals” in innovation sectors, “a commitment to the future.”
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