By Humphrey Carter

PALMA
THE Balearics may well be one of the richest regions in Spain but young people are working for some of lowest wages in the country.
On average, 17- to 29-year-olds are being paid 10 percent less than the national monthly average wage in the Balearics.
Many of the positions are in the service sector and seasonal.
Recent research into the condition of the employment market for young people in Spain has revealed, not only that Balearics wages fall well shy of the national average, but that 67 per cent of 17- to 29-year-olds in the Balearics are employed in the service sector. Nearly 20 percent work in construction, the second largest employer.

The Secretary at the Balearic Government's Youth Department, Jaume Morey, said yesterday that, based on the latest findings, it is no wonder that young people are not very optimistic about the future and that many still consider buying their first home virtually impossible despite the government grants and assistance.

The latest unemployment figures have also revealed that young men, along with foreign workers, face the greatest risks of losing their jobs.
However, nearly 47 percent of young people in work are on seasonal, part-time contracts.
Morey said that his department will be discussing the report's findings with the Ministry for Education which is currently drawing up a “back to basics” plan to improve education standards in the Balearics. According to the report, only 10 percent of young people in work were combining their job with further education. “The vast majority of youngsters are not learning a new skill or furthering their studies while working, and, in the medium and long term, this will lead to a shortage of skilled labour in the Balearics,” he added. “We need to improve standards of education and try to encourage a greater number of students to complete their schooling before joining the workforce,” he said. “Business could also play a bigger role, it is their future at stake as well, and we will be talking to the business sector about how it can help address the situation.”

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