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FPdGi Awards

“I wish we’d had an opportunity like this when we were young”

Eleven experts reveal the keys to young people finding work in the coffee conversations that closed the ‘Talent Rescuers’ annual meeting


Eleven experts explained to young people what tools they need to guarantee success when looking for a job. The question this year’s coffee conversation aimed to answer was whether it is harder for young people today to obtain their first jobs. Moderated by the founding partner of The Passion Generation, Marcos García, the guests shared their experience and advice with young people.

For the general director of resources at Enagás, Javier Perera, the key word is ‘confidence’. Perera believes that “we all have different talents” that companies need “because they need more and more diversity”. Rather than giving advice to the young members of the audience, the executive instead preferred to “share experiences”, even including mistakes. “We learn the most from our mistakes”, explained Perera. For Enagás, participating in the ‘Talent rescuers’ programme is an opportunity to “give something back to society by giving young people a future”.

Álex López, who also participated in the morning’s workshops explaining the key importance of social networks for finding work, also took part in the coffee conversation. López has been working with the Foundation for four years and he considers that “being able to help someone who is the first in their family to have obtained a degree is really important for me”. The author of the first book on social selling in Spanish concluded by saying “I wish we’d had an opportunity like this when we were young”.

A sentiment also shared by Joan Clotet, talent innovation manager in the Human Resources Department of Ferrovial. Clotet noted that “young people are all very well prepared, more than I was at their age”. His goal is to provide a little light at an uncertain moment. “Young people are very focused on what they lack rather than on what they have”, he said. For this reason, arriving at job interviews fully aware of their strong points is vital in Clotet’s opinion. “We have to infuse them with energy”, insisted the recruiter.

“There are three ideas that must get through to young people searching for work: find out what you enjoy doing, think about your capacity and talent and then finally take action”, said José Manuel de Haro, director of people development at Suez Water Spain. De Haro responded with a resounding yes to the question posed in the coffee conversation, because the new job positions are going to require “a great deal of competence” and artificial intelligence “is going to replace certain positions”. The executive was surprised by the high level of all the participants and he applauded the contacts that were generated between them and the mentors. “I don’t know of any foundation that organises mentoring programmes as successful as this one”, assured De Haro.

José Luis Blasco agreed that this generation has it hardest. Blasco is global head of KPMG Sustainability Services and has been a partner at KPMG since 2008, but he adopted a hopeful position for these young people: “Perhaps the market is offering 20th century jobs to 21st century people, we need a little perspective”. This member of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development underlined that the good thing about the programme is that “companies like ours have begun to work on solving the problem of youth unemployment”. Blasco believes that the community created thanks to the FPdGi and the ‘Talent rescuers’ will very soon result in common ideas and initiatives.

In addition, among the other speakers at the coffee conversations were Ignasi Belda Reig, biotechnology entrepreneur and 2014 FPdGi Business Award winner; executive director of Escuela de Mentoría, María Luisa de Miguel; team leader at BBVA Spain, Elena Tomico; director of the Tomillo Foundation, Mercedes Valcárcel; general manager of the Itaca Educational Association and 2013 FPdGi Social Award winner, Felipe Campos, and general manager of Equipo Singular, Paco Caro.

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