The importance of lifelong learning

31-04-01

Young people today are better prepared than they have ever been before. Does it really count for anything though, when the crisis has put everyone’s job at risk, and the youth unemployment rate is as high as 51.8%? The answer is yes, it does count, and it counts a lot.

The official statistics gathered in the latest triennial survey of employment opportunities for graduates of Catalan universities carried out by the University Quality Agency (AQU), clearly shows time and time again that higher qualifications correlate with a higher rate of activity and less unemployment. In 2014 the employment rate for candidates with higher qualifications doubled that of people with primary level education only (in the 25 to 44 age group).

Training and employment

Another factor that has been shown to influence the rate of employment and its quality is the type of degree obtained. Degree that are oriented towards vocations, such as Health Sciences, Engineering, or Architecture have a higher success rate than other more general studies such as Humanities.

31-04-02This data backs up the findings of the study of Employment from Professional Training (Inserción Laboral de las Enseñanzas Profesionales) in 2014 which highlights the increasing numbers of students with vocational training qualifications between 16 and 24 who find work, which is a reversal of the trend seen in recent years.

The study also shows a relation between graduate qualifications and job stability, as the number of indefinite contracts rises with the level of the qualifications obtained by the candidates.

A tool for the future

The University Quality Agency has made some suggestions for the future that are worth considering:

  • Reinforce the vocational orientation of university students to ensure that graduates have acquired skills to manage their professional career in a context of uncertainty, so that they possess sufficient flexibility to adapt to a changing environment , to identify strategic training opportunities and to develop their contacts, among other factors.
  • Ensure that graduates have a realistic awareness of their marketable skills.
  • Design policies to increase the stability of the jobs available to the young.
  • Ensure that the added value offered by higher education is equally available to all.

Week of Training and Employment

The week of Training and Employment, which will be held between the 18th and 22nd of March at the Montjuïc site, positions Fira de Barcelona as a reference in the field of education and at the centre of the debate on the challenges and opportunities facing young people. The event includes the Salón de la Enseñanza, the education fair, from the 18th to the 22nd March, which has sections specifically for languages, and Futura, which deals with Master’s and Post-Graduate studies.

31-04-03The education fair has a complete range of secondary, higher and complementary studies, vocational training, arts and languages and educational services. Its principal objective is to be an efficient tool for the guidance and orientation of students and their families when planning their academic future and employment opportunities.

Futura, the specific area for Masters and Post-graduate studies, will have representatives from public and private universities, business schools, continuous education centres and professional bodies to provide information about the second and third level courses they offer in Spain and abroad. Futura also offers assessment on the part of experts, practical workshops on applying for positions at home and abroad, and a “Speaker’s Corner” (informative sessions on entrepreneurship, presentations by companies, round tables and speed networking), among others.

MARTA JUVELL