As you may know from articles and the media, the problem of Youth Unemployment plagues Europe currently, with very little change in sight.
Though policy makers occasionally address the issue or suggest reform measures to increase employment, little is being done.
To access the sense of urgency, however, we must take a look at the real-life experience behind the “label” of the problem. What does Youth Unemployment really look like close up?
Here is the account of Claudio Anibal. One youth who has struggled… and is still struggling:
My name is Claudio Anibal, I’m 27 and I’m unemployed since 2012.
I have a degree in Mechanics of Advanced Materials and Structures. In 2011, the last year that I had a regular job (in Aveiro – north of Portugal), I would never have imagined that I would move back again to live in my parents’ house. In 2012, because of medical issues, I had to come back to my hometown (Setubal – center south of Portugal) and I thought something would come my way in terms of a regular job again. I have a good resume.
I applied for some 80 jobs per week and I was receiving zero responses from the companies where I applied. Before, I talked about my work with the people close to me, and now I have nothing to talk about. Before being unemployed, I was a happy person. But after a couple of months, I was starting to fall apart emotionally. After all the lack of feedback, I wasn’t able to get myself motivated to get out of bed anymore.
It’s confusing and frustrating to be a young person looking for work and it’s hard not knowing where you’re going wrong – whether it’s your CV or your qualifications.
I had the same problems when I was a Postgraduate and most of the time, I was thinking, “How am I going to get experience if no one will give me a chance to show my skills?” And when applying for jobs, me and others are up against experienced employees who’ve been made redundant.
Nowadays, I have some seasonal jobs that help me pay my parents’ bills but I would like to work in something more fulfilling. What is not fine is being at home, depressed and bored. And I need the money.
But basically now I feel impotent and stuck in my parents’ house. And I am scared because now that I am 27 years old, I can’t plan a decent future for my life.”
We thank Claudio for sharing his story. It is one of millions. The lack of hope is present among this generation like a cloud. We hope you take a minute to ponder how you might be able to clear some of the clouds and add brightness to the lives of Claudio and his peers.
Written by Jessica Gaines