This Tuesday, employers and unions harshly attacked the public employment services (SEPE) for “not being effective” and not accompanying people on their path to joining the labor market. But the CEOE went one step further, urging a reform of active employment policies and even changing the law to make unemployment benefits compatible with a job so that the more than 2.7 million unemployed do not may be dissuaded from accepting an offer. This was requested by its president, Antonio Garamendi, during his speech at the event promoted by Cepyme to give visibility to the “serious problem” of the lack of labor that plagues the Spanish labor market and that, if it is not stopped, will continue to increase in the face of the imminent wave of retirements and the increasingly scarce number of young people.
Garamendi advocated achieving a “balance” between employment and the aid received by the unemployed. «Why do people say no to several offers? These are issues that must be put on the table and where the focus must be placed. When the work they offer is short-term, people are deterred, and I understand it, because they lose social protection,” reflected the Basque leader.
Along these same lines, the president of Cepyme, Gerardo Cuerva, warned that public subsidies are sometimes the cause of there being vacancies that are not covered and demanded that this aid not become a “generalized and eternal practice” for people. who doesn’t have a job. “I wish we were looking for a Spain in which aid was temporary and not structural, because it would mean that we do not need structural aid,” he said.
For this reason, the leader of small business owners advocated working for people’s employability, since the “best social policy” is for people to find employment. However, he denounced that the SEPE “is not efficient,” since less than 5% of those who pass through its offices find work. “We are doing something wrong,” he added.
For the president of Cepyme, the problem of vacancies is “structural” and not “cyclical”, but it also has to do with people’s mentality and the expectations of young people when entering the world of work. “The result of all this is a lack of productivity, production, projects, and growth of companies,” he denounced.
For his part, the general secretary of UGT, Pepe Álvarez, disagreed in blaming workers for the record number of vacancies and asked to focus on why people do not occupy those positions, such as salaries, ten-day work days, hours a day or the high rental prices in stressed areas. What he did agree on is the criticism of the SEPE and the need to activate employment policies. “Employment policies, except on rare occasions, have undergone very few reforms and have not served to be the fundamental element of direct employment for companies and to provide people with all the conditions to access jobs,” he said.
Álvarez asked to look at the employment policies of Denmark, where public services call the unemployed at least once a week, give them a resume, ask them what they want to do, accompany them… «We have to go for a change of model in depth,” he claimed.