J.P. Morgan and Fedea announce the launch of New Skills at Work in Spain

Dec 11, 2014

Madrid – J.P. Morgan announced the launch of New Skills at Work in Spain alongside Fundation de Estudios de Economia Aplicada (Fedea) as lead research partner. The initiative unveiled today is part of an initial $30 million, three-year  European programme of work focused on addressing unemployment through encouraging collaboration and sharing strategies, specific innovations undertaken in partnership with local organizations and on the basis of in depth country specific research. The initiative aims to improve labour market infrastructure and develop a skilled workforce capable of responding to current and future labour market demands, ultimately contributing to an inclusive economic growth.

The European programme of New Skills at Work is rolled out in its initial phase to Spain, France, Germany and the UK and is an integral part of the global JPMorgan Chase’s New Skills at Work  announced in the USA in December 2013. The overall programme is a five-year $250milion initiative, the largest-ever private-sector effort aimed at addressing the "skills gap" that exists across many industries globally.

Enrique Casanueva, J.P. Morgan Senior Country officer for Spain and Portugal: “As a firm that has been present in Spain for more than 65 years we want to play our part in tackling one of the most critical challenges for the future of the country.  This initiative has the ambition to take practical steps as well as to provide scientific insight into the very complex issue of unemployment which is weakening the youngest generation and putting long term unemployed people at risk of social and economic exclusion, despite a positive recovery of the local economy. I believe that a constructive dialogue among private and public sectors – much like we heard today – is key to formulate successful strategies for the future.”

Evidence from Fedea’s research shows, in particular, that there is an immediate need for policies to address the problems of the long-term unemployed. While the labour market shows clear signs of recovery, until now this has not led to an improvement in the employment prospects of the over 3,5 million long-term unemployed. Many of these persons have not completed their secondary education and will need some form of training or retraining before they are ready for a job. According to the research, to allow a shift into a more resilient and knowledge-intensive economy, Spain needs to introduce improvements in its educational system and promote tools such as the dual apprenticeship system started in 2013 that has proven to be effective in other countries.

Fedea’s director, Angel de la Fuente, emphasized the importance of research aimed at dealing with one of Spain’s gravest and more persistent problems, the poor functioning of its labour market. He noted that the country has had, on average, one of the highest unemployment rates of all industrialized economies over the last four decades, and that it has a dismal record of very rapid job destruction during recessions. While he expressed the hope that recent labour market reforms may contribute significantly to improve employment performance in the future, in his view, there is still a pressing need for effective active labour market policies.

The partnership and an initial analysis of the Spanish labor market were presented today at El futuro del empleo en España conference, hosted jointly by J.P. Morgan and Fedea at Fundación Rafael del Pino in Madrid.  The event saw the participation of leading academics, business leaders, policymakers, and civil society organisations to address issues around unemployment and economic growth.

Said Hang Ho, Head of JPMorganChase Foundation for EMEA: “The initiative aims to bring together leading policymakers, academics, business leaders, educators, training providers and nonprofit organizations with the goal of connecting labor market policy with practice, supply with demand and employers with the workforce in order to strengthen communities and promote their healthy growth.”

Today’s roundtable discussion has focused on the future of dual apprenticeship in Spain. Participants in the discussion came from the Ministry of Education, leading corporations that are implementing the dual training model and some NonGovernmental organizations involved in training programmes. Among these is Fundación Exit, which delivers dual training to low skilled youths with the support of the JPMorgan Chase Foundation. Exit’s chairman, John de Zulueta stated: “We believe dual training is a powerful tool to address unemployment of the youngest, especially for low skilled students at risk of social exclusion. Fundación Exit’s eDuo programme enables vocational learning and real work experience within corporate firms which are fully engaged in designing and delivering the skills training ensuring young people develop relevant employment competencies.  This dual combination of learning and practical experience has proven to be incredibly effective and strongly motivates the young recipients to complete their studies.”.

El futuro del empleo en España event and accompanying research will assess the Spanish labour market for its strengths and weaknesses, consider how jobs might change as the economy recovers, where future demand for skills might be, which groups will need additional support to (re)enter the labour market and what can be learnt from the current crisis. Funding from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation will make targeted investment to facilitate collaboration and to strengthen and expand initiatives and tools of proven success.

About J.P. Morgan
J.P. Morgan is a global leader in financial services, offering solutions to the world’s most important corporations, governments and institutions in more than 100 countries. The Firm and its Foundation give approximately $200 million annually to nonprofit organizations around the world and lead volunteer service activities for employees in local communities, utilizing its many resources, including access to capital, strength, global reach and expertise. More information is available at www.jpmorgan.com.

About Fedea
Fedea was founded in 1985 as a private research centre with the support of the Spanish Central Bank and twenty-four of the leading banks and non-financial corporations in Spain. Its objective is to act as a bridge between the academic world, public opinion and policymakers. The Foundation carries out and disseminates research on relevant economic and social issues in Spain with the goal of contributing to enrich the public debate and to improve the formulation of public policies.

Fedea’s research agenda has evolved over the years with the main challenges facing our country. It is therefore no coincidence that Fedea has become a leading centre of expertise on issues related to the labour market and the future of the public pension system. Both subjects have always belonged to the core activities of Fedea, but they have gained further relevance in recent years.


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