Generation Y: Dilemmas and Solutions for a New Global Workforce

Thursday, April 30, 2015 | Published by

Generation Y

Talented youth around the world

Since the crisis began in 2008, thousands of young people have decided to leave their home countries due to the lack of employment opportunities. Most of them have acquired tremendous educational qualifications in their home countries, but at the moment of truth, they could not develop professionally.

Where are they going?

In the ranking of countries, which measures their ability to attract talent, Switzerland maintains its number one spot, while four non-European countries are among the top ten: Singapore, the United States, Canada and Australia.1

Germany and the UK in Europe, along with Colombia, Mexico and Chile in Latin America, are the countries with the highest demand for skilled workers from countries such as Spain, Italy, Portugal and Greece, where the economic crisis has significantly impacted business. In addition, there is a demand for professionals in skilled labor markets such as Brazil, The Netherlands, Belgium and Canada.

The profiles most in demanded by international companies include engineers in the field of construction, electronics and mechanics as well as doctors, nurses, financiers and specialists in information technology, sales and marketing professionals.2

Sectors hardest hit by the crisis

The direct result of the global economic crisis has been a fall in GDP, trade and employment. Nowhere has this impact been felt more than in the automotive, manufacturing and construction industries, where the economic crisis has aggravated difficulties that pre-dated the crisis.

For instance, trading, direct foreign investment and access to international financing pose a risk to the global supply chains that underpin innovation. These supply chains are critical sources of new knowledge and learning for firms. Moreover, an economic crisis caused by a severe drop in demand has given way to negative implications for long-term economic growth, e.g. by restricting the entry of innovative start-ups, precipitating the decline of young innovative firms that require financing or active exit markets (e.g. IPOs, mergers or acquisitions), forcing established firms to shelve or postpone new projects and slow down knowledge transfer, diffusion and adoption along local and international value chains. This impact affects the ability of the economy to reallocate resources from declining industries to newly emerging industries and new opportunities.

The situation in Spain

Last July, the unemployment rate for young people reached 53.8%. Thus, Spain again leads the list with 842,000 young unemployed, after surpassing Greece, which stood at first place since October 2011.3

While the trend of unemployment of young people has declined in the euro zone over the last several months, it is growing at an alarming rate in Spain as the Spanish youth unemployment rate continues to climb. “One of each four young unemployed in the euro zone is from Spain”.4

New tax regulation to increase permanent employment contracts

On 27 February, the new regulation was adopted by The Counsil of Ministers and it is recognized by Royal Decree Law 1/2015, on Second Chance programme, to reduce financial burdens and a variety of other measures in the interest of public policy.5

The relevant law aims to obtain benefits from social security provisions. The reduction of the levy shall not, under any circumstances, have a bearing on the creation of the workers´ rights.

Why and how to attract young talent?

Young talent breeds fresh ideas and brings new skills to businesses. Young employees are not anchored in the way things have been done previously, they have ideas and want to be heard. Having young professionals in companies will increase the diversity of opinions, which provides additional ways to solve problems.

In order for companies to attract young workers they must provide incentives such as the opportunity for professional and personal growth. This could be achieved by providing adequate training, offering the possibility to work abroad and creating a mobile and flexible workforce that will simultaneously benefit the company, the individual and the economy. Naturally, money is appealing to young people; they want to be independent and create their own families. However, as a motivational tool, money is not enough. It is important to feel like you really make a difference, that your position really means something to the organization. Do not let young people always do the easy or even dirty jobs. Listen and really appreciate the opinions of young people. Be open to fresh ideas and change. The mix of generations will result in something that is good for everyone involved.

To conclude, it is becoming increasingly important for companies to attract and retain young talent. Generation Y (people who are 30 years old and younger) already make up 20% of the European population and obviously this percentage will continue to grow. This new generation is the future of the global workforce and will ultimately make this world a better place.6


1 “The Global Talent Competitiveness Index 2014 Report. Growing Talent Today and Tomorrow” by Insead, 2014.

2 “What are the most demanded professionals abroad?” by Jobandtalent, 2014.

3 “Active and unemployed population rates” by National Statistic Institute of Spain, 22 January 2015 and “Euro Area Unemployment Rate” by Trading Economics.

4 “Euro indicators” by Eurostat, 7 January 2015 and “Unemployment rate by age group”by Eurostat, December 2014.

5 “Royal Decree Law 1/2015” adopted by The Counsil of Ministers, 28 February 2015.

6 “What “young” means for the United Nations and how they are differentiated from children?” by The United Nations Information Centre.