Spain is the EU country with the most university graduates in low-skilled jobs

Spain is the EU country with the most university graduates employed in low-skilled jobs. 37% of graduates are occupied in positions below the training they have received, compared to 23.5% of the European average. The best ones are Luxembourg and Portugal and we are at the tail, followed by Cyprus, Greece and Ireland.

This is said by the Eurostat data for 2020, which is highlighted in the annual university report of the Knowledge and Development Foundation (CYD), chaired by Ana Botín. The work cites the overqualification of university students as one of the most serious problems that campuses have, despite the fact that this year the percentage has dropped by one percentage point. “Reducing these levels is not the exclusive competence of universities, but it is the responsibility of developing an offer of degrees that is better adapted to the needs of the production system and knowing in more detail the skills acquired by graduates in each of the families of degrees from universities, “the study warns.

The work speaks of a “mismatch” between the demand for highly qualified jobs, generally made by senior graduates, and the vacancies for these positions offered by companies, which translates into unemployed with higher education, on the one hand, and in “employment not embedded”, on the other. That is, in people with a high level of studies who end up occupying positions for which their degree is not needed.

What does the CYD Foundation attribute it to? “Perhaps having a large proportion of university graduates among the population aged 25 to 65 is influencing this fact”, he responds in the report, which recalls that in Spain almost 40% have a higher degree compared to 34% of the population. EU. “The reverse is the case in Romania, Italy or Portugal, with a percentage of higher graduates among the adult population clearly lower than the average.”

The professor of Applied Economics at the University of Barcelona Martí Parellada, general coordinator of the work, recalled this Wednesday, during his presentation, that in Spain there is a problem of “over-titling” in parallel. “Some surveys say that graduates have a higher degree than the skills they should have,” he pointed out.

According to the PIAAC report, a Spanish university has the same level as a high school student from the Netherlands or Japan. This OECD study puts us in the group of countries at the bottom in competencies of their graduates between 25 and 64 years old. 40% of Spanish graduates have a reading comprehension level lower than 3 on a scale of 5. That is, four out of 10 graduates do not reach the approved level. In calculation, the data are also very bad: 46% of Spanish graduates have low skills (less than level 3).

“Both one thing [overqualification] and another [overqualification] highlight that the evaluation and accreditation system must also include the competences acquired in undergraduate and graduate degrees to see if the training a student receives really has the right appropriate level. This would make more white on black in relation to these settings “, has indicated Parellada.

Francesc Solé, vice president of the Foundation and professor of Business Organization at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, recalled that school failure in ESO, very high in Spain, would be leaving empty intermediate positions that university graduates end up occupying because there is a lack of technical profiles with average qualification. “There are so many people who want to be a university … but FP and Baccalaureate are not adapted. Precisely in Catalonia 10,000 people have been left without entering FP because there were no places”.

They propose, in addition to improving the qualifications of university students, better adapt the offer of degrees to the needs of the labor market. It would help, for example, that more young people pursue technological careers, since the percentage of Spanish graduates is small in relation to other countries.

In the presentation of the study, the minister Manuel Castells and the president of the Conference of Rectors of Spanish Universities (Crue), José Carlos Gómez Villamandos, have intervened in a recorded video, who has affirmed that the “overqualification” is due to the “lack of opportunities “offered to young people by the productive fabric and that these are geographically concentrated.”

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