Employability of Youth: training, gender and territory

Unemployment and precariousness are the features that best describe the Spanish labor market and, they are increasingly affecting different social groups. From a historical perspective, the different crisis taking place in the European Union have hit young people as one of the more affected collectives. During the year 2013, 23.5% of young people in the EU under 25s did not find a job, being the case of Spain, together with Greece, one of the most alarming, with a youth unemployment rate of 55.5%. But unlike previous years, the current situation shows three new traits: the number of young people who want to work and can not find a job; the male profile of the unemployed; and inactivity as an individual response to long-term unemployment and precariousness. In this context, this project sets out how the consequences of the crisis are reducing the importance of productive work in the project life of young people, especially men who live in areas with low industrial tradition. The loss of centrality of employment in male identity is reinforced in the case of young people with lower skill levels, to which the training offered them is very unattractive and is far from being perceived as an active value, to seek employment . Therefore, the analysis of the possibilities of youth employability should include training, gender and territory as the main explanatory factors to overcome the dilemma between supply and demand in the labor market.
The project goals are:
a) Explore the potential of providing vocational training and the demand for skilled labor in the labor market to improve the employment chances for young people by incorporating the gender identity and territorial factors to the core of the analysis;
b) Explore the construction processes of masculine and feminine identities in order to detect aptitudes, interests and abilities of young people from which to define re-qualification paths;
c) Explore successful learning experiences linked to the productive structure of the country considering the importance of the local dimension.
These objectives require qualitative methodological strategy able to explore the processes of employment for young people – taking into account gender, training and territory and to determine whether changes in these processes involve the transformation of identity construction around the value of labor among youth, especially among young men. The importance of local context requires a specific approach. Therefore it has been proposed a methodology to conduct fieldwork in three different regions: Castilla La Mancha, the Basque Country and Catalonia.

The goal is to address the diversity of territorial and institutional factors involved in shaping the problem. Ultimately, the results of the project proposals seek to rethink policies aimed at improving the employability of young people.

Start date: 01/01/2015

Finish date: 31/12/2018

Financing: Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (Ref. CSO2014-59753-P)

Financing reference: CSO2014-59753-P

Responsable researcher: Vicent Borràs Català

Team: Sara Moreno Colom (UAB), Matxalen Legarreta (UPV), Paloma Candela Soto (UCLM), Albert Recio Andreu (UAB)

Related website: http://pagines.uab.cat/eject/


Moreno-Colom, S., Trinidad, A., Alcaraz, N., & Borràs Català, V. (2020). Neither studying nor working: free time as a solution? Journal of Youth Studies, 1-17.

Borràs Català, Vicent; Moreno Colom, Sara; Candela Soto, Paloma; Legarreta Iza, Matxalen (2019). “Jóvenes en perpetuo tránsito hacia ninguna parte”. Revista Española de Sociología, 28 (2), 365-380.

Borràs Català, Vicent; Moreno, Sara; Candela Soto, Paloma; Legarreta, Matxalen (2019). La empleablidad de l@s jóvenes : formación, genero y territorio (EJECT: Informe final de proyectos de I+D+i. CSO2014-59753-P.

Candela, Paloma (2018): “El lastre de las desigualdades de género en la educación y el trabajo: jóvenes castellano-manchegas atrapadas en la precariedad”. Sociología del Trabajo, nº92, 125-146.

Moreno-Colom, Sara; Borràs Català, Vicent; Trinidad Jiménez, Albert (2017): “Ni escuela, ni trabajo: el tiempo libre como un oasis obligado en medio de la nada”. Anuario IET de Trabajo y Relaciones Laborales, Vol. 4, 99-111.

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