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Youth unemployment and forced emigration

Unemployment is one of the major challenges in Europe today. In this context, in most of the Member States of the European Union, youth are more vulnerable to one of the serious consequences of the economic crisis, unemployment.

In most cases, and in countries with high unemployment rates, like Spain, with 50.5% youth unemployment[1], emigration is seen as the only way to find a job and build a future.

Those who have studied in a university have, for the moment, the financial support of programs sponsored by public national or international institutions to try their luck aboard. But young people without any academic preparation are forced to consider this solution without the justified entry in a foreign country given by one of these programs. That determines that a very few of them, in relation to the ones with studies, choose to go to another country.

Exchange programs

Europe has been living for the past five years an unprecedented event in relation with migration movements. In the last years, the Leonardo da Vinci or other European exchange programs have enhanced the exchange of young graduates in different EU countries.

However, since the beginning of the economic crisis, these programs, especially for professional traineeships, have become an option that can determine the rest of their lives, not only as an enriching experience, but a real professional option for the future.

Those who used to go aboard for a temporary stage, with a date of starting and ending, have now a more uncertain return date. In many European countries, as well as in some jobs, over the years, the voluntary alternative of emigration has become an act of survival and professional dignity.

The result of the economic crisis

The economic crisis, and in many cases the resulting increase of the rate of youth unemployment, has been accompanied, in the European Union, with an increase of exchange programs for workers, a homogenization of educational systems and, in the international framework, a development of communications.

Emigration had never been so simple: digital newspapers, emails, social networks, low cost flights and video calls for expatriates can help those who decide to change their country for a short period.

All these technical advances have made easy the situation, but it is difficult to win the battle against loneliness and resignation that, after several months out abroad, the expatriates feel when they see themselves as foreigners in their own country and also in their new country of residence aboard. The reasons are obvious: in the new country there are a new culture, a new language, new "families" and friends; and in their own, they have the impression of losing everything that was theirs. But, at least, they have work.





[1] Eurostat, 2nd April 2012.







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