The talent drain is ‘contained’, but more must be done to prevent it


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The flight of talents in Galicia is a reality, but in a moderate way. In order to better address it and attract those who have already left foreign talent, the Galician Economic Forum recommends a series of measures and, in addition, calls for more statistics, so that it can be better studied and offer more appropriate solutions. These reflections were expressed this Wednesday at the presentation in Santiago of the study “Flight of talents in Galicia: Myth or reality?”

Its authors, professors Alberto Vaqueiro, Sara Fernández López, Luís Espada and Víctor Manuel Martínez emphasize that it is a “delicate and very difficult to deal with” subject, with the absence of data that make the study of this phenomenon difficult. The experts emphasize that the mobility of workers is not bad in itself, even that it is “desirable”, but it is a problem “a continuous net loss of graduates, which has significant negative consequences at the economic and social level.” So, This leak is “contained”, “moderate, in the negative with respect to the rest of Spain and positive with respect to abroad.”

Madrid and Catalonia are the ones that most of the emigrants collect: only these two communities bring together 50% of the wage earners who left Galicia between 2016 and 2018. In addition, 47% of those who leave Galicia have less than 29 years of age, according to a study that includes the 2003-2010 stage. This study also explains that only 30% of these emigrants are women. With everything, the authors are “relatively positive”, when it was found in a study from this year that Galicia is the “fifth community that loses the least”.

In addition, the migratory balance in recent years in Galicia has been positive, receiving more people than they left. Of course, when dividing it between the foreigner and the national figures, there are differences: with outside the Spanish borders this balance is positive, but compared to the rest of the country, the balance is negative. The data also show that in 2011 seven people were lost for every 100 with a higher degree. In 2001 it was two people for every 100.

But what drives these people to leave? Mainly, a better salary and employment options, those known as “hard factors” and access to social policies and public services, such as education, health, nurseries or a cultural offer, the “soft factors”.

Actually, Professor Fernández explained yesterday, it would be good if the recommendations given by the study were enough for in 10 or 20 years not to have to apply specific policies for return. Recommendations include the “Need to make an effort in terms of employment that allows adjusting the supply with the demand for work”, “To set up larger and innovative companies” to create jobs or to approve “public and private policies that allow them to compete on equal terms”.

They also focus on promoting activities related to technology, “promoting cooperation” between the productive sector and the Galician university system “(they explain from the Forum that” due to the migratory process, it is calculated that Galicia incurs an annual cost in training graduates what at least 178 million emigrate a year “if students finish their degree in four years”. In addition, they demand “to develop policies for the return and attraction of talent”, allowing to create the “conditions” for that talent, these new ideas, want to come to Galicia.

The rural also plays a very important role. Making it attractive is a “great opportunity”, Fernández points out, the confinement uncovered with even greater intensity. They are asked to be “very ambitious”, but they also demand coordination from administrations to promote rural areas as a place to live. When asked about the loss of company headquarters, it was pointed out that it does not help to bring talent to Galicia, but the president of the forum, Santiago Lago, highlighted the potential and growth of the Galician business fabric.

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