New data by Spain’s largest trade union has shed light on how job insecurity remains ingrained in the Spanish workplace.
Almost 85,000 people are registered as company interns in Spain, the second highest rate in the EU after Slovenia.
And CCOOO’s findings suggest that these aren’t just fresh university graduates looking to land their first company job by slogging it out for low pay.
Half of the country’s interns, roughly 42,000, are over the age of 30.
Worse still, a 2017 study by the national trade union found that almost 60 percent of the country’s interns – becarios in Spanish – receive no pay at all.
Seven out of ten reported having the same amount of work as salaried employees at their companies.
In Spain internship contracts are supposed to pay 60 to 75 percent of a full-time employee’s salary under the premise that it’s a training period.
As if all this information wasn’t discouraging enough for young workers looking to kick-start their careers in Spain, the evidence suggests that there could be many thousands more of interns in Spain who aren’t registered on the social security system, allowing their employers to exploit them much more easily.
“There’s just not enough regulation for interns in this country’s,” Miguel Ramos, head of Spain’s Youth Council, told national radio station Cadena Ser.
“If no one is protecting or dignifying this kind of work, it’ll become even more common and we’ll start to see a rise in poverty levels among the 30-37 age group of around 15 percent.
Spain's unemployment rate currently stands at 13.9 percent, still one of the highest in Europe but considerably lower than during the heights of the financial crisis when it reached over 23.67 percent.