MADRID: Spain leads EU countries in terms of overqualified employees. Many graduates find it difficult to find suitable work in Spain. Age, gender and origin are factors that make the situation even more serious.
Spain heads the EU countries when it comes to overqualification. At the end of January, the Spanish news site ctxt.es wrote that no fewer than 37% of Spaniards are over-educated for the position they currently have. Spain has one of the highest number of graduates in the EU, but is equally the country where talent is least used.
Spain exceeds European average
These conclusions are drawn after analysis of the data in 2019 by Eurostat, the EU’s Directorate-General. On average, 21% of workers in all EU countries are over-educated. In 2009, this was 33% in Spain, with the situation worsening in the last ten years.
Age, gender and origin are determining factors in Spain
This situation is not the same for all population groups in Spain. Age, gender and origin are determining factors, with immigrant employees in a worse position than those of Spanish descent. Half the foreign workers from other EU countries residing in Spain are over-educated for their position. For foreigners coming from outside the EU, this percentage is more than 66%.
Women in Spain are also more likely to be overqualified with 41% undervalued. A similar position exists for the younger generation with around 40% under-utilised.
Most degree holders are overqualified
The higher the qualification, the more likely the employee is overqualified for their current job. About 60% of people with a secondary vocational diploma do not have a suitable job. This percentage rises to 80% for employees with a university degree.
European Commission warned of disparity
The European Commission warned in 2020 of a significant mismatch between education and job level in various countries, especially among younger workers.
The EC pointed out, among other things, the lack of coordination between education and the labour market. Countries such as Spain are also said to under-invest in innovation, automation and digital development.