Palma.—Since the recession hit Spain in the middle of 2008, a total of 390'206 Spaniards have emigrated in search of work and many of them have been highly trained young professionals unable to find work here in Spain.

The United Kingdom and Germany have been two of the most popular destinations but so too is the Middle East for engineers and architects with the Balearics being one of the top three regions in Spain to have lost the most residents to the exodus abroad.

Last year in the Balearics, the number of young professionals travelling abroad to work rose by 8.1 percent to 17.179 - only La Rioja and Navarra had slightly higher rates, according the National Statistics Institute.

Last year, a total of 82'000 young professionals looked overseas for work, taking the total number of young Spaniards now living abroad to 1.6 million.
The employment agency Adecco also reported yesterday over the past two years, the demand for a position overseas has doubled and, at the moment, one in four job seekers they receive, want to work abroad.

Sources for Adecco said that people aged between 25 and 35, who have few if any family commitments, are fleeing abroad because of Spain's runaway unemployment and the severe lack of jobs being created for skilled people.

However, many countries in Europe, the Middle East and even South America are crying out for young trained professionals so placing Spaniards overseas is relatively easy.

Young Spaniards are also attracted by the prospect of higher wages, especially in the UK and Germany.
What is more, countries like the UK and Germany will need a big increase in skilled immigrant labour in coming years, from both inside and outside the European Union, to make up for the ageing of its workforce, the OECD said .

Germany's policy on highly skilled immigrants is one of the most open among the 34 industrial countries in the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

But the concerns here in Spain are that this brain drain is going to hamper Spain's capability to compete on the international stage with companies listed on Spain's Ibex 35 stock exchange already generating 50 percent of their business overseas.