A degree is worth less in Spain than in rest of EU

More young people in Spain are NEETs (Not in Education, Employment or Training) than anywhere else in the EU, with graduate unemployment also tripling the OECD average, a new report shows.

The 'Education at a Glance 2014' report from The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has revealed that over one in four young Spaniards (aged between 15 and 29) are  so-called 'ni-nis', meaning neither in training nor working.

Officially known across Europe as NEETS, they are victims of the crippling economic crisis that has affected Spain since 2008.

In the report presented in Madrid on Tuesday by the Secretary of State for Education, Montserrat Gomendio, and OECD Innovation Director Kirk Van Damme, only Turkey was shown to have more NEETs, according to Spanish daily El Mundo.

Spain, with 1,956,900 young people in its 'jobless generation', was shown to fare worse in this regard in percentage terms than countries including Mexico, Chile and Ireland.

People with good qualifications were also shown to fare worse than their counterparts elsewhere.

Van Damme noted that advanced vocational training qualifications or university degrees in Spain "did not reduce the risk of unemployment as much as in other countries."

Possession of such a qualification reduced the chances of unemployment by 55 per cent in Spain compared with the OECD average of 63 per cent.

14 per cent of Spaniards with advanced qualifications were unemployed, almost three times the OECD average.

Spanish students were shown to take longer to complete their degrees, qualifying on average at 26.9 years old compared with 24 in the United Kingdom.

The Secretary of State said that the crisis was "obviously" behind the increased levels of unemployment but she urged families of students to become more involved in their education.

"Something as simple as parents showing interest in the progress of their children at school", could create an "impressive" improvement in their performance. she said.

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