Palma.—Certain parts of Spain, such as the Balearics, is apparently facing a very serious threat of a ‘brain drain' with hundreds of young people emigrating in search of work.

With youth unemployment closing in on 50% (48.56%), twice the European average, young Spaniards have begun to open doors elsewhere in the labour market and have started looking abroad for employment.

What began a few years back as a brain drain, has now turned into an exodus, according to the government which is failing to get a grip with the country's unemployment crisis.

Here in the Balearics, the local government has admitted that it does not expect the job market to show signs of improving until next year, so 20 to 25 year olds with university education and no family ties are moving overseas. Most are prepared to take “anything available” according to employment agencies helping to place them. The most popular destinations are Germany and France, but the emerging economies in Eastern Europe are growing in popularity.

Germany is looking for engineers, France needs physiotherapists and nurses, Great Britain is also short of nursing staff.

The British government has been well aware of Spain's employment problem and low salaries in the health sector for some time now and a few years ago, the health service sent a team to Majorca to actively recruit locally trained nurses to work in the United Kingdom.

Many did take the opportunity and very few have returned. But, the main problem with finding employment abroad is the language, so not surprisingly language schools are enjoying a boom time.

They have seen a huge increase in demand amongst the 20 to 25 age group, especially for English which as Tom Stutter told the Bulletin, is rapidly becoming the ‘lingua franca' because business and work forces are becoming so multicultural and multi-lingual.

Young people are facing a very “uncertain future” because of the economic crisis and the government is concerned it may “loose a generation” if the exodus continues.