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Businesses

Spain Runs Out of Workers With Almost 5 Million Unemployed (bloomberg.com) 496

An anonymous reader shares a Bloomberg report:Spanish headhunter Samuel Pimentel just can't find the candidates. After a frustrating search for specialist consultants for a client, he's given up and is casting his net elsewhere. "We were looking for people for two months," Pimentel, a partner at Ackermann Beaumont Group for Spain and Latin America, said in a telephone interview. "We managed to find one in Spain. We turned to Argentina for others." Pimentel's experience reflects a bizarre feature of the Spanish labor market that is hampering the country's efforts to repair the damage from the economic crisis. Even with close to 5 million people out of work, the next prime minister will face labor shortages with employers struggle to find the staff they need. "It's a paradox," said Valentin Bote, head of research in Spain at Randstad, a recruitment agency. "The unemployment rate is too high. Yet we're seeing some tension in the labor market because unemployed people don't have the skills employers demand."
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Spain Runs Out of Workers With Almost 5 Million Unemployed

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 02, 2016 @11:32AM (#52433259)

    "Why can't we find workers that will work for peanuts? They're all unemployed, they should be happy with anything!"

    • by fibonacci8 ( 260615 ) on Saturday July 02, 2016 @11:40AM (#52433303)
      Or my favorite aspect of the "paradox", when employers demand a 4 year degree, or 5 years equivalent experience with technology that has existed for 2 years. Then the problem isn't the workforce, it's the expectation of far more than the required skill set to perform a job.
      • these are the folks that would say Kernighan and Ritchie are unqualified to do C code.

        for anything like an H1B visa there should be an audit of the requirements to check for "loading" and lack of reality

      • by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Saturday July 02, 2016 @01:20PM (#52433957)
        That's due to an often-unnoticed failure mode of HR. There are two possible hiring candidates (qualified, unqualified) and two possible HR actions (hire, don't hire). This creates four possible outcomes:

        Visible outcomes:
        • Hire a qualified candidate. Everything is good here. HR gets commended for a job well done. Company gets a good employee.
        • Hire an unqualified candidate. Company gets a bad employee. HR gets yelled or fired for failing to do their job.

        Invisible outcomes:

        • Don't hire an unqualified candidate. HR did their job here, but company doesn't know it.
        • Don't hire a qualified candidate. HR failed at their job here, but company doesn't know it.

        The only way to see the invisible outcomes is to test HR by sending in a few eminently qualified resumes and fake (but talented) people to do interviews. Almost nobody does this, so HR lives in a bubble where only the visible outcomes matter. That means their strategy is to eliminate unqualified candidates at all costs, even if it means you also eliminate some qualified candidates. So if HR is supposed to fill a job which requires 2 years experience in a new technology, play it safe and ask for 5 years experience in that tech in the job listing. It doesn't matter that their shoddy listing eliminates all honest applicants competent in the technology. As long as the dishonest applicant they eventually hire is also competent in the technology, HR can only be commended.

        • by war4peace ( 1628283 ) on Saturday July 02, 2016 @03:22PM (#52434701)

          Here's an interesting anecdotal evidence that confirms your point.
          My team has an opening for a Business Intelligence person. HR provided us with 4 candidates. Three of them were below our expectations and one was way above (both by target salary and skillset, not surprisingly). My manager went back to HR and asked for another batch of candidates, and HR "found" another candidate which was almost perfect but was "overlooked" in the first batch. HR lied by saying the candidate only applied during round two, which the candidate proved it wasn't so by showing the job application date.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Gr8Apes ( 679165 )
            This is why the most reliable way of getting hired is bypassing HR entirely, and using your network.
            • by houghi ( 78078 )

              That is what we did at one job. They were pissed and we told them to shut up and make up the (standard) contract. We were the department that wanted them. We also understand that they will have no idea what kind of people and skills we need and what we won't need.

              e.g. if we ask for only bash experience and you don't have that, but you have other languages, we know you will be able to function or not.

              We rather have somebody who has all the languages and not bash than only bash and nothing else. We know what

      • I see this complaint, but never see the actual listings by real companies any more. Yes it happened a lot at the end of the tech bubble, but is it still a real thing?

        And most ridiculous job ads are basically describing an existing employee, so they can say they posted a public ad, but hire internally. As crazy as these get, I still do not see the impossible ones you describe.

        Urban legend status?

      • Read the article ... (Score:4, Informative)

        by golodh ( 893453 ) on Saturday July 02, 2016 @06:50PM (#52435783)
        Well ... to some extent. Lets look at the article itself, shall we?

        From the (Bloomberg) article: "From software developers and mathematical modelers to geriatric nurses and care workers, a mismatch in qualifications means companies are struggling to fill posts, even though the unemployment rate at 20.4 percent is the second-highest in Europe".

        Yea, right. Mathematical modelers are always thin on the ground and software developers can be, depending on what you ask. Geriatric nurses are an impopular specialisation, and demand is growing fairly quickly. Working conditions tend not to be the best though, so it's not the most popular specialisation. Takes a year and a half to qualify though, and not many hospitals are willing to pay you to do it. Those that are pay you a pittance, fire you the day you graduate, and start with the next bunch of trainees.

        Problem is: can you trust current industry demand to guide your choice of curriculum?

        Answer: No you can't. Companies (with the exception of the likes of Shell, IBM, GM, Unilever etc.) don't plan any further ahead than 6 months. Easier and cheaper that way. So, current industry demand isn't a very good indicator.

        And this: "Pimentelâ(TM)s client asked him for list of candidates trained in "Agile" project management techniques for helping companies boost their productivity by using more I.T. systems. The client was offering as much as 200,000 euros ($220,000) a year -- almost 10 times the average salary in Spain."

        Salary's pretty good, especially for Europe. But "trained in agile". Does that mean "attended a few lectures in scrum or whatever"? No. From the rest of the article: you need to have sufficient experience to know what software development is and what the issues are. And then the article lets it transpire that you'll be talking with senior management ... on your project. Sounds like a "development lead with experience in agile" position to me. Definitely not for your average coder, with or without course in "agile" development bolted on.

        I can only conclude that the Slashdot headline is a bit misleading. The Bloomberg headline is more accurate, and the article goes on to lambast the Spanish educational system for not paying sufficient attention to industry needs (STEM subjects).

        However ... about a year and a half ago I made the acquaintance of a (very smart) Spanish PhD in experimental physics who (1) couldn't find a fitting job opportunity in Spain when she graduated (6 years ago) (2) went abroad to do a doctorate (3) was subsequently unable to find a faculty position (two years ago) in Europe) and went to work as a data analyst for the government.

        Several interesting things in this story: she couldn't find a decent job even though she was smart, motivated, and well-educated, she had to look outside Spain to do a PhD (well, some would call that a valuable education in itself), then couldn't find a job in the field for which she had just qualified (experimental physics), and went to do work for which she wasn't "formally" qualified but for which she was quite well prepared (kudos to that HR department).

        Now think of your average HR department. Would they have hired her as a data analist? Nah ... too many boxes not ticked. No Hadoop experience, no Java programming certificates, no certificate in SAS, not SPLUNK certified, no Python programming certificates, no Linux certificates (although she did her PhD work on Linux systems like all physicists). Yup. Probably no MS Office certificates either (but perhaps those can be overlooked).

        So it's a sum of circumstances: insufficient attention to trivial but "in-demand" qualifications on part of educational authorities to please box-ticking HR departments, HR departments being generally unable to bring any understanding and intelligence to their job (costs too much to have somebody working there who actually understand what the job entails, right ... so keep with the box-tickers). industry as a whole being unable to provide reliable forecasts of future personnel demands.

    • "Pimentel’s client asked him for list of candidates trained in “Agile” project management techniques for helping companies boost their productivity by using more I.T. systems. The client was offering as much as 200,000 euros ($220,000) a year -- almost 10 times the average salary in Spain."
      • "Pimentelâ(TM)s client asked him for list of candidates trained in âoeAgileâ project management techniques for helping companies boost their productivity by using more I.T. systems. The client was offering as much as 200,000 euros ($220,000) a year -- almost 10 times the average salary in Spain."

        Pimentel is a fucking sociopathic moron.

        No, I mean it. That's all that needs to be said.

        But in reality, he was *not* a) offering 200 grands for a suitable candidate and b) he wouldn't know a suitable

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo@worl[ ]net ['d3.' in gap]> on Saturday July 02, 2016 @01:06PM (#52433869) Homepage

      They don't want to pay for training either. Used to be many people were taught their trade by their employer, but now they expect the cost to be covered by the government and the employee.

      • by tsotha ( 720379 )

        I agree. Employers are trying to have it both ways here. It's reasonable to expect employees to provide their own training if you're paying enough that they'll be attracted to the field and come out ahead in the long run. It's also reasonable to pay less and provide training for your employees.

        What businesses are trying to do is get someone else (either the government or the employees themselves) to pay for training without raising wages enough to compensate. "We can't find enough skilled workers" arti

    • by pablo_max ( 626328 ) on Saturday July 02, 2016 @01:52PM (#52434175)

      "Why can't we find workers that will work for peanuts? They're all unemployed, they should be happy with anything!"

      You would think so, but no.
      That is more of an American thing I think.

      I am an American expat living in Germany. I was recently offered a job in Spain for a lot of money. Much more than I make in Germany. I don't speak a single word of Spanish. Poor German and English only.
      I actually thought about it, but at the end of the day, it's Spain. Great to visit, but not to live.

    • What he isn't telling is the vast migrations of skilled tech workers in Southern Europe to places like the UK or the US where they earn triple or five times the salary for the same work.

      The people left either have families (won't change jobs easily), are middle aged (often discriminated against in job ads) or are unskilled. Unskilled and unemployable.

  • Abusive government (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    The issue is crystal clear and was to be expected. The government decided to allow the employers to treat employees like garbage, and they did because they could find someone else easily. However anyone with proper skills and education can easily be employed in countries like Germany and the Netherlands due to the EU. Close to a million Spanish people left the country since the crisis.

    • How is that a problem?

      Labor markets are working...cheer!

      Now Spain will raise pay for skilled labor and some will come back, again, how is this a problem?

      • Now Spain will raise pay for skilled labor

        Not going to happen, the companies will just pressure the government to allow more foreign workers who will work for less (or hire subcontractors who already do.) Same thing has been happening in the US for years.

        • What's the average pay for American engineers in fantasy land?

          • by geoskd ( 321194 ) on Saturday July 02, 2016 @01:48PM (#52434149)

            What's the average pay for American engineers in fantasy land?

            Same as it was ten years ago, and only marginally higher than it was 20 years ago.

            When I graduated in '01, the median starting pay in my field was $65k, and average pay was $91k. Today, the median starting pay is $70k, and average pay is $93k. That is an average annual increase in starting pay of 0.45% per year. The increase in average pay across the whole field has only increased by 0.133% per year. Meanwhile, unemployment in my field is pretty close to zero. There are almost no qualified applicants out of the hundreds of resumes we receive for any given opening. In spite of the incredibly low unemployment, there has been no increase in salaries, due to several factors. First, employers know that their employees will not be able to get significantly better elsewhere, so they do not offer any better than they have to. Second, filling open positions is typically done by job postings, and referrals, not by "poaching". What this means is that the company has to wait longer to find a qualified applicant, but they don't have to pay the premium in cost that is associated with poaching employees (10-20% higher salary than the poached employees current salary). It is the effect of poaching that significantly drives salary increases. When companies have to resort to poaching to achieve staffing levels, industry salaries rise fast. That is why the anti-poaching agreements between silicon valley companies should have been punished by virtue of an automatic 15% raise for all of their current employees. This would have been sufficient punishment to make the companies rethink that policy, and also would have effectively undid the damage that had been caused by the anti-poaching in the first place.

            The last thing that needs to be noted is that in general, people who are capable of performing high skilled labor are not the simple result of "training". You can't take just any high school graduate, and through the magic of training, turn them into a skilled worker. There is a percentage of the population that can never be trained to handle a particular job. The higher the skill level, the larger the percentage. What we are seeing in Spain is the natural progression of this process. Most of those 5 million unemployed people simply cant handle the work that needs to be done. Some small percentage of them could probably handle it if given the opportunity, but the majority of them are effectively untrainable to fit the needs of the work that is in demand.

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by Lonewolf666 ( 259450 )

              My experience in Germany is similar. I'm currently looking for a new job, and based on the (sparse) feedback I get from potential employers the €55k/year I'm asking for are a realistic market value.
              This is only marginally more than what one could expect ten years ago. Counting inflation, low as it is, this amounts to a decline in purchasing power.

              The likely reason in case of Germany is that the trade associations have successfully lobbied our politicians to allow more immigration of qualified people fr

            • by Fire_Wraith ( 1460385 ) on Saturday July 02, 2016 @03:31PM (#52434751)

              The last thing that needs to be noted is that in general, people who are capable of performing high skilled labor are not the simple result of "training". You can't take just any high school graduate, and through the magic of training, turn them into a skilled worker. There is a percentage of the population that can never be trained to handle a particular job. The higher the skill level, the larger the percentage. What we are seeing in Spain is the natural progression of this process. Most of those 5 million unemployed people simply cant handle the work that needs to be done. Some small percentage of them could probably handle it if given the opportunity, but the majority of them are effectively untrainable to fit the needs of the work that is in demand.

              Absolutely. Not everyone is capable of doing every job, no matter how much training you give them. Even of those who can be trained, some are going to be a lot better than others. This has a lot of consequences, because the low-skilled but high-paying jobs of the old days are vanishing at an increasing rate, and they're not coming back. When we put 3 million professional truck/etc drivers out of work, we can't just stick them all in a web development class and call it even. At some point - maybe not today, but eventually the day will come, where we have to entirely rethink our employment paradigm, institute a minimum basic income or the like, and accept that not everyone will be directly employed the way they used to be.

      • by Zumbs ( 1241138 ) on Saturday July 02, 2016 @12:31PM (#52433605) Homepage
        The summary suggests that the Spanish labor market is not raising wages to draw the migrant workers back home, but rather importing workers from Argentina to keep wages low. Given the high unemployment in Spain, it also puzzles me why the Spanish government and employers association are not actively providing facilities to educate unemployed workers to take the vacant positions. Or look for skilled Syrian workers, but that is another discussion.
        • by geoskd ( 321194 ) on Saturday July 02, 2016 @01:59PM (#52434217)

          it also puzzles me why the Spanish government and employers association are not actively providing facilities to educate unemployed workers to take the vacant positions.

          Because you don't train someone, who has been manufacturing doorknobs for the last 20 years, to now be an electrical engineer. The majority of these unemployed people are incapable of developing the skillset necessary to handle the work that is available. Given the extremely high payscales listed in TFA, if the unemployed people were capable of learning it at all, they would have already availed themselves of the higher education system to achieve those degrees.

          There is a fallacy in this world that anyone can be anything they want. The sad reality is that most people simply don't have the basic talent to become a rocket scientist. Pretending that we can fill an urgent need for rocket scientists by retraining a bunch of gas station attendants is just stupid.

          Its time the world faces the reality that there is already an entire class of people who have such a low value to society that the only reason they can survive is because governments artificially maintain minimum wages. Every advance in technology renders an ever larger subset of the population into this class. It is time that humanity stops and decides what the future of the race is going to look like, because if we don't, then the matter will decide itself, and will do so the way it always has: through warfare.

          • Mod this guy up. Seriously. The average IQ is 100. Half the population is below that. Humans, by and large, are not sufficiently intelligent to do the jobs that are out there, and robots can do the jobs they are qualified for, and a whole lot more, i.e.: Robots can be lawyers and physicians as easily as fry cooks.

            We need smarter people, but half the population only knows how to make more low-IQ humans. It's one thing to say everyone deserves life and all human life has value and all those nice words, but qu

  • by turkeydance ( 1266624 ) on Saturday July 02, 2016 @11:38AM (#52433287)
    quote from article
  • Wrong Problem (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 02, 2016 @11:39AM (#52433301)

    The problem isn't that workers lack the skills needed. It's the fact that the companies are looking for the perfect candidates. They have no interest in training people to do the job. When entry level programming positions require compsci degrees and 3 years experience in 5 different languages/libs you know the barrier to entry is a bit too high...

    Of course, part of the problem is the employees themselves. The company trains them then poof. The employee runs off to a different job that pays more. No loyalty to the hands that taught you how to fish.

    • Re:Wrong Problem (Score:5, Insightful)

      by layabout ( 1576461 ) on Saturday July 02, 2016 @11:46AM (#52433345)

      No loyalty to the hands that taught you how to fish.

      companies get as much loyalty as they give.

      • If you accept this statement, then don't be surprised when companies don't want to train people. If you were the manager for a dept and need to interview then fully train someone only to see that "improved" worker immediately take their skills elsewhere, forcing you to start the process over, what would you do? I'd bet you'd wait and look for those people that other companies trained first. It make business sense. I'm not condoning corporations actions in this equation, but it is what it is.
    • Employees leaving after training is a fact of life and a cost of business.
    • You only train when it is to your advantage to do so. This requires a payback financially, which comes from a balance of retention, lower wages, or network effects of not being able to operate otherwise.

      If a new grad expects $65k and an experienced person for the same role expects $75k, the training barrier can be a huge hurdle. For my company, we need about a 20% discount and strong long-term prospects to justify hiring inexperienced people. If the long-term prospects aren't there, we pay a little over

    • by geoskd ( 321194 )

      The problem isn't that workers lack the skills needed. It's the fact that the companies are looking for the perfect candidates. They have no interest in training people to do the job. When entry level programming positions require compsci degrees and 3 years experience in 5 different languages/libs you know the barrier to entry is a bit too high...

      I have personally had to deal with the work product of an individual who had no formal training in computer science. He had built an entire product almost by himself. While the product did work, maintenance was such a nightmare, that implementing new features that should have been done within a single sprint could take as much as 6 months (I'm talking about 6 months of his time, not mine, I quit and got another job rather than deal with that mess). I have been told by a few friends of mine, that after he ha

  • You made your bed. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Iamthecheese ( 1264298 ) on Saturday July 02, 2016 @11:42AM (#52433309)
    What happens when employers stop re-training employees and start shitcanning anyone as soon as possible, relying on obtaining trained people from the rest of the economy when people are needed again? That's right: trained people are quickly drained from the economy leaving only the trained who command very high wages and the untrained, who cannot be employed.
    • To put things in perspective, consider some numbers:

      Spain's population is about 47 million

      Spain's labor force is about half that (23 million)

      The "5 million unemployed" represents more than 20% of the workforce.

      If a headhunter can't find people in the country and has to import, my question is this: is globalism bad for Spain?

      Globalism is taught as the one-true-religion in economics circles right now, but I'm wondering if this is a dodge. While globalism has made a handful of companies richer, it drives the p

      • A Parable (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Howitzer86 ( 964585 )

        Originally, you were good at a few things, but you had a sizable interest in other topics as well. Perhaps you have a film industry, a steel industry, a car industry, and a farm industry that produces the world's best avocados. You're proud of all of these, and so are your people, even when you're not the best.

        But now you're global, with little to no trade barriers, and the only thing the world wants from you are avocados. As a global country, the flourishes of your nation that made you interesting, unique,

    • And then there are employers who only want to hire perfect candidates, even if there are a bunch of people with reasonably close skill sets, willing to work and asking for reasonable wages.

      There are quite a few shades of grey between "trained" and "untrained", and often a candidate with related experience could bridge the gap with a bit of training on the job. I suspect Samuel Pimentel (or his client) has unrealistic expectations and is blaming everyone but his own lack of flexibility.

    • If you invest in someone, you see what they can become, and you take the risk to train them. Five years ago I was one of these people, and though I had the foundation that my employer could build on, I didn't even know there was a job like mine in the workforce. I even told them as much, and they hired me anyway, because they believed I could learn and become an asset. So far, it seems that I have. Actually, the situation was even more beautiful than that, because no one really knew what to do at first, jus

    • by Ash-Fox ( 726320 )

      What happens when employers stop re-training employees and start shitcanning anyone as soon as possible, relying on obtaining trained people from the rest of the economy when people are needed again?

      The vast majority of people that apply to my company are already trained and do have qualifications, but when you do some simple practicals in the interview that just slightly requires out of the box thinking (they're allowed to Google and find the answer to do the practical), you'd be amazed how many people sim

  • Lack of Planning (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Blue Stone ( 582566 ) on Saturday July 02, 2016 @11:51AM (#52433373) Homepage Journal

    The idea that businesses should actually train the workforce that they need, such as with apprenticeships, sponsoring employees in education on the job, or whatever, seems to be lost on Spanish businesses, I guess?

    "We thought there'd just be the employees we needed out there somewhere. We didn't think we'd have to take responsibility for any of it!" seems to be their take.

    • they want H1B's like workers who are tied to the job and are willing to do what it takes even if means 60-80 hour weeks / not standing up for your rights.

    • Yes and no. If a company literally cannot find anyone qualified to do a job, then they have no one qualified to teach someone to do that job either.
      Also, the global market is competitive, probably way to competitive to allow for companies to hire redundant employees whose main job is to train for possible future job openings. Presumably if there was already exists lower level positions who could be promoted into these unfillable positions, possibly after a few weekend courses, then they would of done that.

    • by AthanasiusKircher ( 1333179 ) on Saturday July 02, 2016 @12:22PM (#52433549)

      The idea that businesses should actually train the workforce that they need, such as with apprenticeships, sponsoring employees in education on the job, or whatever, seems to be lost on Spanish businesses, I guess?

      I think we're going to see more and more of that tension in a lot of places. The reality in the world is that for most jobs, "on the job education" is the most effective. We've created a system that tells young people to go to college, but traditional universities were never really designed for job training. That happens at technical schools. At a higher level where theory is required in addition to practice, it can happen at a "professional school," like med school, which tends to combine some theoretical coursework with apprenticeships (i.e., clinical training, often at a teaching hospital).

      We're seeing a greater and greater problem for college graduates finding jobs, because they don't have practical skills that one will generally learn on the job over the course of several months or a few years. And it's also very inefficient because the theoretical material students learn in a college classroom is often forgotten quickly without practical reinforcement, forcing graduates to relearn the material needed on a daily basis when they finally find a job (rather than integrating it into more permanent and practical knowledge as they go). College was designed to be "higher education," not job training -- it was meant to expose students to a wide variety of ideas and disciplines, not teach only the specific skills for a job. It makes no sense to segregate theoretical and practical training if you actually want students to learn skills for a job.

      If employers really wanted better (and more loyal) workers, they should stop just requiring a degree before getting a job and instead help train workers on the job, perhaps partnering with a higher-ed program to provide a bit of theoretical instruction as necessary to complement the work.

      Why aren't they doing this?....

      "We thought there'd just be the employees we needed out there somewhere. We didn't think we'd have to take responsibility for any of it!" seems to be their take.

      Sort of. But I suspect this is primarily being driven by a desire to have lower-cost employees. A few decades ago, companies were mostly limited to whomever they could find locally. It was really expensive to look beyond the local labor market, let alone internationally, so it was mostly done only for major jobs in the company.

      Nowadays, it's so much easier and faster to just find someone on the other side of the planet who has most of the skills already and is willing to work for a fraction of the cost of a local worker.

      • by Ash-Fox ( 726320 )

        If employers really wanted better (and more loyal) workers, they should stop just requiring a degree before getting a job and instead help train workers on the job

        My company already does this, but you have to show you're able to do things like being able to think for yourself, use Google to find answers etc. Something most people are surprisingly failing at... Sadly, that basic intuitiveness is not something we can teach, we've tried. We also are particularly not interested in people who aren't driven or in

    • The idea that businesses should actually train the workforce that they need, such as with apprenticeships, sponsoring employees in education on the job, or whatever, seems to be lost on Spanish businesses, I guess?

      And let the employee get snatched up by some other company once trained? That's a losing strategy.

  • by Person147 ( 1924818 ) on Saturday July 02, 2016 @12:02PM (#52433451)
    Well it is quite likely that the ones with the required skills have already been snapped up by companies from other parts of the EU that tend to have more contracts. A two month contract is hardly a basis for a reliable income. Move to somewhere like Berlin or London and there will be far more opportunities. Working in FinTech in London I find all the time that the people are am working with are from all across the EU as there are so many more possibilities here in London. This empties the talent pool from the source countries. I hear this all the time from Lithuanians in particular.

    London is far wealthier than the rest of the UK as all the skilled people move here from all over the country. Just the same happening but at an international level.

    • by cardpuncher ( 713057 ) on Saturday July 02, 2016 @12:21PM (#52433537)

      London is far wealthier than the rest of the UK as all the skilled people move here from all over the country

      This is, in essence, why the rest of the UK voted to leave the EU and take London down with it. The EU counterweight to the free movement of people and capital is regional development which is supposed to have a redistributive effect and even out the gains and losses. I'm afraid the hollowing-out of talent from many regions and countries of the EU is proof precisesly that the EU is not working as intended.

      • by ffkom ( 3519199 ) on Saturday July 02, 2016 @12:52PM (#52433769)

        You forgot to mention the billions of Euro that the EU spends on aid payments to support specifically the structurally weak areas of Europe - including Spain.

        If Spain wasn't in the EU, their clever youth would still leave the country for a better career abroad - but Spain wouldn't get anything back.

        Or do you think that in a nationalist euphoria, spanish youngsters would suddenly decide to stay in their sucking local job market if Spain left the EU?

        BTW: A colleague of mine relocated from Germany to Spain (for the warmer weather). He still works for the same German company - just remotely. So he at least supports the spanish economy by buying stuff where he now lives. If Spain wasn't in the EU, such a relocation might have been too cumbersome to do it just for the sake of warmer weather.

        • by Ash-Fox ( 726320 )

          You forgot to mention the billions of Euro that the EU spends on aid payments to support specifically the structurally weak areas of Europe

          Yeah, I'm sure that fancy new clock and the metal dragon statue in Ebbw Vale from EU projects is revitalizing industry there...

          • by zarr ( 724629 )
            Some EU bureaucrat woke up one day and decided to buy Ebbw Vale a new clock and a statue, was that how it happened? It wasn't someone local that asked for that money and decided how to spend it, I'm sure. Luckily you wont see any more of that filthy EU money landing on your doorstep from now on. Fixed that problem real good, didn't you.
  • by ClayDowling ( 629804 ) on Saturday July 02, 2016 @12:06PM (#52433471) Homepage

    A lot of industries here in the U.S. are facing a similar situation: there's work they'd like to do, but its using skills that either haven't been in high demand in the past or haven't existed before. The only real solution is to create the workers with the skills that you need, but this is both expensive and generally outside of the scope of what the business is capable of doing. Training programmers, for instance, is a very different business than making industrial control systems.

    We're taking a proposal to some of our clients to set up these kinds of training programs for them. But it's not a sure thing that they'll be willing to make this investment, because it's going to mean changes in the way they do business as well.

  • by mark_reh ( 2015546 ) on Saturday July 02, 2016 @12:08PM (#52433481) Journal

    corporations who threatened to take their offices/factories elsewhere, defunding the schools, so now they have a shortage of qualified workers and they have to import them. I wonder if they have anything similar to an H1B visa program...

  • Data such as age distribution, education, previous work experience, and other factors are probably well known. If many of the unemployed just graduated from secondary school or college with art history, English literature or psychology majors, or a large percentage of the unemployed are near retirement age and were manual laborers, all this might explain the unemployment rate. And or course what skills are in demand? The original post suggests the problem is associated with skill needs not matching the expe
  • by ErichTheRed ( 39327 ) on Saturday July 02, 2016 @12:33PM (#52433611)

    Have the employers these workers aren't qualified enough for tried raising salaries or paying to train people?

    It sounds exactly like what we older workers deal with in the US. Once we start making 'too much," we're targeted for elimination because someone with no family or responsibilities can be employed much cheaper. I know it's very possible to let one's skills atrophy, or do the same job for 20+ years, but I don't do any of those and get lumped in with the "too old" crowd. As a result, I never get responses from a cold call resume submission -- most of my jobs recently have been found because people know me.

    As for "not qualified," no one is a 100% drop-in replacement. Not even the Infosys, Tata or Wipro guys they send in...which is also part of the problem. Companies don't train people anymore, and expect them to be immediately productive on the first day. A generation before I graduated, large and even medium employers had extensive training programs for new hires. It was possible for someone motivated to come in out of high school. or you could graduate with a generic degree. As long as the new hire was motivated and trainable it didn't matter.

    So yes, I think Spain is starting to get a taste of how the tech employment market is for US workers. I feel the current visa system in the US needs to be reformed (not eliminated) to allow for the domestic workforce to grow. No one with a modicum of sense is going to go into engineering, computer science or other STEM fields if they are destined to be the new humanities degrees in terms of employment success/ROI. Once people see a future in these fields, they'll study them again.

  • Last time I spent a holiday in Spain, I noticed a group of 8 young spanish people who were obviously trained to become Dive Masters at the same dive operator that I was diving with as a paying guest. I also noticed that much unlike other people I had met before who wanted to become Dive Masters, those 8 were kind of unenthusiastic about it, and also not really good at what they did. I asked why they were training to become Dive Masters, and got the answer that the state paid for this training, as they were
  • Per the Fine Article:

    "Pimentel’s client asked him for list of candidates trained in “Agile” project management techniques for helping companies boost their productivity by using more I.T. systems. The client was offering as much as 200,000 euros ($220,000) a year -- almost 10 times the average salary in Spain."

According to the latest official figures, 43% of all statistics are totally worthless.

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