“I was already hoping not to find a job at 57 years old. I’ve been lucky for what’s out there”

The economic reactivation after the covid-19 pandemic is costing in some sectors, but There are companies that are already encouraged to hire. There are beginning to be more job offers, many for temporary positions, but they represent a first step for some workers for whom the health crisis, age or their need to retrain has not made it easy in recent years. Companies looking for workers find a gap between the profiles they need and the training of unemployed people.

Francisco Javier Lobera is 57 years old and started working at the age of 16 in Galerías Primero, a chain of Aragonese stores, in which he remained for about 30 years. There he was trained going through almost all the positions, “from the warehouse to the offices”, he recalls. The worker from Zaragoza experienced the best years of the brand and also the worst, his final, after being sold and restructured, with the dismissal of a good part of his staff. The stores that remained continued to change their label, first to El Arbol and later to the Dia group.

Start over

Looking back, he admits that he had a “very bad time” when he found himself out of the company where he had worked for so many years. “I was unemployed for almost two years. It was a hard blow“, he remembers. He admits that with more than 45 years “it is difficult to look for work” and on some occasions he saw how age was “a problem”. Despite this, he admits that later he was linking jobs. “I have not stopped”, he assures. gone through a couple of companies in the distribution sector starting again from the bottom, from stocker to order picker.

A few months ago he found his current job, after participating in a Comprehensive Program for the Improvement of Employability and Insertion (PIMEI) of Cepyme, financed by the Aragonese Employment Institute, Inaem. She hopes that his current job, which has started with a six-month contract, will end up being renewed and stable. Handles a variety of tasks at a service company including reception. “I was already hoping not to find a job at 57 years old. I’ve been lucky for what’s out there”he says, and is “very happy.”

“The biggest difficulty is that supply and demand do not match”

“The biggest difficulty is that supply and demand do not match”, explains Pilar Burgués, director of the Talent Management and Employability Area at Cepyme. In the aforementioned employment program, which began at the end of 2020, 255 people have participated (145 in Zaragoza, 35 in Tarazona, 40 in Huesca and 35 in Teruel), of which 69% have found a job. The program sought to provide guidance to applicants, improve employability conditions and your professional qualification.

Link temporary contracts

This would be the case of another of the profiles that have been inserted after going through the aforementioned employment program. Luis Alloza is 47 years old and is a computer technician, a profile with demand, but in his case he needed some recycling. He studied IT Management VET. “I had been working precarious jobs for a while, very punctual, and I took the opportunity to train. I had done several professional certificate courses while some jobs came out,” she says. His problem when he went to a job interview was that he lacked the experience to apply for ‘senior’ positions, which would correspond to him because of his age, because he had dedicated himself to other activities such as teaching, and in the ‘junior’ positions they were looking for people more youths. “I was in no man’s land and it was difficult for me to find a more stable job”Add.

His time in the program helped him to “organize himself better” when searching for and “better structure the resume” because “as I have worked in many places I had many things”. She has obtained a position in the IT department of a hospital center where she has been renewed after the first six months. As his program partner, he believes that “luck” has a great influence and trusts that this time he will end up with a stable position.

The companies seek “above all, people with professional training, in families such as mechanical manufacturing, maintenance, electricity and electronics”, Bourgeois gives as examples. He also highlights the “pull” that construction continues to experience, but that as in the previous trades “there are no people with these qualifications”. The shortage of young people that they join this training joins the fact that there are professionals with experience “who do not have generational relief”.

Missing 8,000 construction workers

Construction Labour Foundation.

Construction Labour Foundation.
Javier Belver

In the construction sector, estimates remain that some 8,000 workers are missing in Aragon. “The problem is getting more and more pressing. It is increasingly difficult to find available labor“, confesses Vicente Lafuente, manager of the Fundación Laboral de la Construcción (FLC). The center, in which employers’ associations and unions from the sector participate, imparts five professional training degrees that they cannot fill. He assures that currently “The salary is not bad, it is no longer such a arduous job like years ago because there are many machines and progress has been made in risk prevention”. Despite this, he considers that there is a “cultural” problem since families continue to be the first ones who do not see him with an attractive professional opportunity. “It is a medium-term issue, that change the dominant culture and see it as a sector with advantages and not just disadvantages”, he points out.

“I remember friends who stopped studying to go to work, because they were earning 2,000 euros a month, but it was bread for today and hunger for tomorrow”

The situation remains the opposite of the years prior to the real estate crisis of 2008. “I remember friends who stopped studying to go to work, because they were earning 2,000 euros a monthbut it was bread for today and hunger for tomorrow,” says Cristian Ara, a 42-year-old worker in a maintenance job in an urbanization. Many of those young people found themselves when the sector collapsed “without any preparation.” He is aware that Despite the improvements that have been made in occupational risk prevention, “the world of work is very hard, all day carrying weights, enduring the cold and the heat.”

The industry was the refuge of those young people who could not find work on the construction site with the previous crisis and now it’s hard for them to come back. “In any metal or logistics company, workers can earn 1,300 euros and to earn 100 euros more in construction, the work is hard and the contracts are more precarious,” admits Manolo Grande, from the UGT-Aragón Construction Federation, who also agrees that it is still a less painful sector to work in. In addition, he believes that there are those who prefer not to be locked inside four walls all day or employed in a repetitive job such as an assembly line.

Mentality change

The trade unionist adds that the work in the play “is not well seen by the parents of the young people who would now have to swell the construction companies”. He acknowledges that not even when those parents have worked in the sector, when before it was a profession that passed from parents to children, as at home. He blames precariousness. “Delegating labor to subcontractors has only lowered prices and made it more precarious,” complaint about the abuse of subcontracting in the sector. “People left the sector en masse and very few have returned because those who sought life in another are very reluctant to return,” he confesses. This would be causing “There are works that are being delayed.”

The sector needs workers to attend to the activity in the coming years, driven by the reactivation that began before the pandemic and has continued. European funds for housing renovation and efficiency improvement are also expected to create jobs. “There will be a lot of investment and there will be no professionals,” alert Fernando Baraza, from CC. OO. Aragon. He agrees that “the image of the sector continues to be highly reviled”, but highlights the improvement in the way of working in the sector, with more progress in the prevention of occupational hazards.

He warns that the application of the reform is bringing some negative consequence such as the appearance of “false self-employed”. Baraza warns that “we are meeting in many companies that, in order not to make them indefinite, are forcing workers to become self-employed”.

The change of mentality is also expected in the face of professional training, which tries to position itself as one more option to carry out a professional career, away from the stereotype of the past of being a second choice. As in construction, other sectors are also looking for professionals such as transport, which needs truck drivers, or new technologies. In the ICT sector, companies estimate that there is a lack of about 400 trained workers and the shortage in all these sectors can be a brake on business growth, they have recently warned and even taken their message to the Cortes de Aragón. There are even problems in the hospitality industry because after the restrictions and the ERTE Due to the pandemic, there has also been a flight to other sectors.

It’s not worth “whatever”

When facing the job search, from Cepyme, Pilar Burgués advises “have a clear objective regarding the professional future”. He considers that it is not enough to think about working “whatever”. Based on the decision, work can be done to “qualify” the young person if he does not have the necessary training or to “reorient himself” if he is an older person with an experience that has become obsolete. “When the objective is clear, it is easier. You have to find your way through a qualification or jobs that give you that experience to make the leap,” he adds.

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