Yesterday we held a despedida for one of our friends. He’s off to work in Toulouse. In a group of around fifteen friends he is the fourth to leave (the others are in France and Germany). The rest are looking abroad.
They cannot find work here in Spain. Or at least, not in Andalucía. Once the others started looking en el extranjero, the interviews came flooding in.
What should Spain do about the fleeing of its young talent?
Well, try to benefit from it in the long term.
Traditionally, many people in Andalucía have not needed or had the chance to travel. This is now changing, and the youths of today are being “forced” to grab opportunities that their parents never even dreamed of.
Yet, only a small percentage of those who leave will stay away.
The quality of life – sun, good food and a strong vida familiar – attract the Spanish to return.
If and when they do, they’ll bring their experience, skills and new perspectives to the Spanish job market… and to the next generation.
An interesting suggestion is made by the magazine Emprendedores. In Ireland, incentives are being offered to those who attract investment to Ireland from abroad. What if Spain did the same?
I hope my friends will be back at some point. I also believe that many of those ‘cerebros en fuga’ can and will contribute to Spain’s recovery in the long term.