Professional skills and youth employment after Covid-19

Youth employment is one of the most pressing challenges facing Western societies. The Covid-19 explosion has accentuated its seriousness. In some European countries, such as Spain, Italy and France, the problem is particularly serious, despite the abundant resources available to governments to deal with it.

According to the study Professional skills for the future: a diagnosis and action plan to promote youth employment after the Covid-19 presented by IESE professor Jordi Canals, 77% of companies consider that there is a mismatch between the skills they need in young graduates and the skills offered by the education system.

It should also be taken into account that the skills that companies are looking for have changed and 73% of them consider that the first cause is the digital transformation. Other factors that would have influenced this are changing customer needs, internationalisation or automation.

The report points out that the education system has not been able to respond with the desired speed and according to Canals “The problem has to do with the level of professional preparation, with the functioning of the educational centres and with the involvement of companies in the training project for young people”.

The biggest knowledge gap is in technology training. 94% of companies do not find in their graduates the necessary knowledge in big data, 91% in artificial intelligence, 89% in robotics and 88% in digital marketing.

Professional skills are increasingly important, and new organisational forms or work methodologies such as agile, which requires agility and flexibility, as they break down projects and require multidisciplinary teams, or design thinking as a method for generating innovative ideas.

For all these reasons, it is necessary to start training young people so that in their education, in addition to knowledge, they acquire skills such as empathy, the capacity for analysis, adaptation and teamwork, as well as teaching communication and relaxation techniques and stress management. According to Tobías Martínez, managing director of Cellnex, “knowledge is of relative concern to us, it accounts for 25%, but the remaining 75% has to do with how they relate, with empathy, with how one helps or works in a team, that is what adds up”.


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