Vocational training is rated more important by businesses than university degrees. | Archive

The shortage of skilled, qualified labour is a concern for a number of business sectors in the Balearics. One of these is electrical and telecommunications. The president of the association that represents the sector, Manuel Martínez, believes that its fifty members would be employing between 300 and 500 people if they were able to find the right candidates.

The Confederation of Balearic Business Associations has highlighted a slowdown in hiring, especially qualified technical personnel, and the negative impact this could have on economic growth. The difficulty with recruitment is being experienced in an apparently traditional sector - carpentry. The head of the federation for carpentry and furniture, Marta Mesquida, says that businesses are investing in technology but don't have sufficient workers who know how to use computer numerical controlled machinery.

It is a similar story even in painting and decorating. Experienced workers are retiring and there are not enough replacements. A solution, it has been suggested, would be the creation of a dedicated training school. There is such a school in Barcelona, which is said to work very well.

The nautical sector has welcomed the government's moves to provide more training, such as with the establishment of training schools, but it is accepted that results from these initiatives will not be realised in the short term. As for the hoteliers, companies are having to recruit on the understanding that they will have to provide training.

The association for software, internet and new technologies businesses suggests that there is the potential for the immediate hiring of some 1,000 people. Because of the shortage of qualified personnel, some companies are opening offices in other regions of the country.