Active Employment Policies (PAE) face great challenges in Spain. The first, the significant magnitude of unemployment and especially long-term unemployment (PLD or structural), today already 1.5 million people, whose proportion will increase as total unemployment decreases.
The second, its proverbial inefficiency that is famous throughout Europe and in international organizations. The biggest problem is not money, although it would not hurt to approach the countries around us, but rather that they do not work: we are among the first in Europe in PLD and among the last in the use of Public Services (SPE) and private entities in Job search. The high PLD means in fact that the PAEs do not work at all on people who need important actions (retraining). And the total lack of confidence of unemployed people and companies in seeking employment through formal mechanisms, that labor intermediation does not work. And both things do not work because employment services are not applied to the unemployed and companies. The private evaluations available (there are no public ones) show that more than 90% of people do not receive any employment services. job.
Of the two PAE instruments (services and programs), the former are practically not carried out despite the fact that they are basic (the foundations) on which the latter should rest. Employment services are essential to know the needs of each of the unemployed people and the employment needs of the productive fabric. Without them, there is no way of knowing what recycling actions are needed, which people have a suitable profile or not for employment and why, and what type of jobs companies are demanding. Consequently, its lack is at the base of the PLD and the ineffective labor intermediation. These services are to employment the same as diagnoses and treatments to the health system.
The question is: if they are so fundamental, why are they not carried out? The answer is that the necessary money is not allocated for it, nor do the health centers (employment offices) have the necessary doctors (trained technical personnel) to care for sick people (unemployed) and to give them treatment (diagnosis of their problems, personalized employment itinerary, and monitoring and help from a tutor). Well, being so important, do it immediately, you will say. We also say it.
The problem is that the money that is distributed to the PES of the Autonomous Communities cannot be used to carry out such services, but only to programs, medicines and treatments, but without knowing the illness of each unemployed person due to lack of diagnoses. So how can you know that these medicines and treatments (employment and training programs) are the right ones for the patient? It is not known and they are not so they are useless for the illness of employment that each person suffers. That is when they receive them, which, as we have already said, are very few who have that employment health care.
But what is the real problem? Well, an incomprehensible institutional blockade: the Autonomous Communities do not have money to carry out these functions and the State says that they should be paying for it with their funds since the powers were transferred. From UGT we say that it must be solved now: that part of the money that is given to the Autonomous Communities only for employment and training programs (medicines) be withheld and the necessary part be allocated to make diagnoses and propose treatments. As Gurría (General Secretary of the OECD) once said, desperate for this incomprehensible blockade: “Give money to the employment offices!”. But this remains unresolved in the new Employment Law. And meanwhile, the unemployed languish with no chance of being cured, especially the most serious, the PLD.
The third of the challenges faced by the PAEs refers to two major factors linked to the coming years: the demographic challenge, which will cause three million people to leave their jobs due to retirement by 2030. These jobs must be covered by adequate people, but with ECPs that do not work, they are not available in sufficient quantity. The second factor is changes in employment as a result of digitization and the green transition. Both will require radical transformations in the qualifications and professional skills of unemployed and employed people. But for this, EAPs that work are urgently needed.
In short, the conclusion is that we need to improve, and a lot, the new Employment Law. It has been prepared without social dialogue – that is how it has been, believe it or not – and all these considerations have not been taken into account (and many more that we have sent). We are in time to fix the Law in the parliamentary procedure. We are willing. And we ask the government to be too.