Improving employability has two big challenges: increasing the incorporation of young people into the labour market, and also boosting the incorporation of over-55s, two highly compatible and complementary groups.
Regarding the former, there is wide scope for improvement in terms of the creation of entry-level job opportunities, the transition from school to work, and career guidance. For the latter, what is fundamental is continuous training and the reincorporation of those without jobs into the job market, among other things.
In both cases, they are generations with great abilities and skills who can have difficulty accessing the job market. According to the LFS currently, the rate of unemployment in Spain is at 15.28%. In total, there are 955,800 people unemployed between the ages of 16 and 29, which means that almost a million young people have the opportunity to develop their career path and that, as a society, we are not taking advantage of all that potential.
The most experienced professionals are also an irreplaceable asset for any company. To waste all that savoir faire accumulated over the length of a professional career is truly a mistake. According to Eurostat, Spain is one of the countries with the lowest participation of over-50s in the workforce. In the 55-64 age bracket, only 50.1% of Spaniards have a job, compared to over 70% of Germans, Norwegians or Swedes.
When analysing the challenges of each profile, it is useful to confront the difficulties and transform them into opportunities. Incorporating professionals from different generations into one team, can, at first, be seen as a difficult task. However, the skills of one are highly complementary to those of the other. If we ask ourselves, ‘How much can the experience of one add to the drive of the other?’, or, ‘What can come of the collaboration between the transgressive ideas of new arrivals, and the perspective that four or five decades of experience offers?’, the forecast is sure to improve.
Initiatives that are working really well, as well as programmes for attracting talent and collaboration between universities and companies, are excellent tools for connecting the job market and the education system: from mentoring programmes, in which a person with experience introduces the new arrival to the company, to two-way training, in which each one trains the other in something in which they have more knowledge.
Enagás belongs to the Generation and Talent Observatorynetwork of businesses, an organisation that encourages innovation and that promotes active policies for generational diversity based on values. Last year, the company participated actively in the preparation of the study ‘Generational diversity diagnostics: an analysis of intergenerational talent at companies’, which examined how the intergenerational working environment affects companies, and the new challenges posed by this reality.
Enagás is also a leader in the development of young talent: it participates in the ‘Talent Rescue’ programme of the Princesa de Girona Foundation, a transformative project that promotes the employability of young people.
The greatness of a society is measured, in part, by its ability to overcome difficulties and seize opportunities. Relying on professionals from different generations is, without a doubt, a great opportunity, especially in a setting such as the current one, with an economy based on knowledge. If we know how to take advantage of it, the results can be outstanding: we will be able to make the most of that knowledge and achieve sustained social growth over time.