Work: young people are attracted by web trends, but companies still lack skilled technicians
They are aged between 15 and 19 (85% studying) and intend to continue studying after secondary school; they get information mainly online (79%) through the Internet and search engines, but also on social networks. There are three main features that they consider essential when considering a job listing: a decent salary, the opportunity for personal growth and flexible working hours. Additionally, they prefer jobs related to new trends in the online world.
The TESYA Group has commissioned a research to AstraRicerche with the aim to provide a picture of the ambitions, needs and desires, with regard to the worlds of work and education, as well as attitudes towards professional roles like that of technician, amongst young students in 5 of the countries in which the Group operates. The reason for this is that nowadays companies, including TESYA, struggle to find specialised professional staff and technicians—the jobs are there, but the workforce is lacking.
FEWER THAN 1 IN 2 YOUNG PEOPLE FEEL THEY UNDERSTAND THE WORLD OF WORK
An average of 42% thought they knew a lot or enough about the world of work (led by Portugal with 49% and Italy with 48%), while 40% thought they knew just enough (led by Croatia with 47%, followed by Spain and Slovenia with 44%). In Croatia, around 29% of the sample felt they knew little or nothing about the world of work.
For 78% of the respondents, their main channel of information about the world of work remains the Internet; more specifically, 53% get their information from various search engines and 41% from social networks, while only 27% indicated public institutions’ websites. This is followed by schools and universities (36%), advice from relatives and friends (on average 33%, with a high of 45% in Portugal, passing through 33% in Slovenia and 30% in Croatia down to Italy at 29%). Only 29% mentioned media— both online and offline—namely newspapers, radio and TV (with percentages varying from 39% in Portugal to 24% in Spain, passing through 37% in Croatia and 34% in Slovenia).
PAY, FLEXIBLE WORKING HOURS AND GROWTH: THE THREE PRIORITIES OF YOUNG PEOPLE IN THE BALKANS
In terms of the key factors influencing whether or not to accept a job, 67% in Slovenia put a decent salary in first place, compared with 29% in Croatia, where flexible working hours ranked first (40%), a factor that ranked second in Slovenia at 43%. Personal growth was ranked third in both countries (38% in Croatia and 25% in Slovenia).
In terms of the skills considered most useful for the world of work, soft skills predominated, with communication in first place for young Slovenians at 28% and at 24% for Croatians (prized even higher in Italy and Portugal at 40%). For Slovenia and Croatia, organisational skills, i.e. the ability to manage one’s own work and/or that of others, came in second, with 27% and 19% respectively, followed by problem-solving skills, i.e. the ability to unravel complex situations and find solutions (Croatia 21%; Slovenia 19%).
WHAT ABOUT SCHOOL? SHOULD YOUNG PEOPLE RECEIVE TUITION IN ‘WORK CULTURE’ GIVING THEM A SOLID, BROAD CULTURAL FOUNDATION?
For 65% of Croatian students and 53% of Slovenian students, school, particularly higher education, should not only provide knowledge and skills in a specific field but should also invest in training young people in ‘work culture’ and preparing them to be good employees. This was closely followed by the importance of developing students’ all-round qualities and skills (character, behaviour, mental flexibility, etc.)—34% in Slovenia and 43% in Croatia. In addition, 43% of young Croatians felt that schools should provide a solid, broad cultural foundation—something 23% of young Slovenians also felt. Young Croatians felt more strongly than most that “schools should train young people for a specific employment sector” (49%).
GRAPHIC DESIGNER, INFLUENCER AND WEBSITE AND APP DEVELOPER ARE THE MOST SOUGHT-AFTER PROFESSIONS
The professions considered relevant at the moment and likely to be relevant over the years ahead are those linked to the latest online trends: the sample unanimously put Graphic Designer/Web Designer as the top profession of choice with an average of 64% (Portugal 65%, Spain and Italy 64%, Slovenia 63% and Croatia 55%),followed by YouTuber, TikToker and Online Influencer with an average of 61% (Slovenia 66%,Portugal 63.5%, Italy 61%, Spain and Croatia 60%).In third place, with an average of 58% of the sample across all countries, was Website and App Developer (Slovenia 70%,Spain 60%, Portugal 57%, Italy and Croatia 55%).
This was followed by the teaching profession at 53% of the total sample, Data Analyst at 52%, Engineer at 49%, Environment, Ecology and Energy Specialist at 48% and, at the bottom of the list, Mechanical, Electronic and Commercial Technician with 45% overall (Spain 49%, Portugal and Slovenia 47%, Croatia 43% and Italy 42%).
ASTRARICERCHE COMMENTS: “YOUNG PEOPLE UNDERESTIMATE THE DIFFICULTIES OF THE DIGITAL WORLD”
“It is clear that the ‘media narrative’ regarding the new professions has succeeded in convincing many young people that they are interesting and offer many opportunities; however, the digital world is not capable of absorbing such a large number of young recruits (and especially not the influencer scene, where some are very successful, but a great many cannot make ends meet)”, commented Cosimo Finzi, CEO & Market Researcher; “In addition, young people probably underestimate the difficulties they might face in the digital sectors: the need for ‘real’ training, increasing competition and the need for continuous updating of skills.”
WHAT DO YOUNG PEOPLE THINK OF THE ROLE OF THE TECHNICIAN?
The technician’s professional profile is still marked by prejudices and conflicting attitudes towards a role that is evolving to meet the new expectations dictated by technological innovation.
For young people, the role of technician is still shrouded in stereotypes, although these are less pronounced in the Balkans than on the Iberian peninsula and in Italy, where the percentages are higher: for 48% of young Croatians, it is a strenuous job, while for 27.5% of young Slovenians, it’s not a particularly cool role.
MISMATCH: COMPANIES NEED TECHNICIANS, BUT CANNOT FIND THEM
The market, on the other hand, is sending very different and clear signals: technicians are increasingly sought after by companies in every sector, but there is a shortage of skilled workers. A technician is able to analyse, understand and prevent problems and then take direct action to solve them, because more and more companies, as is the case with the TESYA Group, are moving towards predictive maintenance systems based on the zero-fault theory. The role of the technician has evolved into that of the predictive technician,in which the interpretation of data and the effective use of technology play a decisive role.
TESYA: WE INVEST IN SPECIALIST TRAINING AND ARE READY TO HIRE (+25% TECHNICIANS BY 2025)
As a service company, the people who work within the TESYA Group truly represent its linchpin. Of the almost 3,300 employees, around 1,400 are technicians who provide highly qualified assistance: in fact, the Group has around 16,000 technical service agreements and manages 26,300 machines that it monitors remotely via satellite telemetry systems; this enables us to offer an expert service by anticipating faults, checking for proper operation and offering prompt advice. Equipping our technicians is therefore crucial, which is why TESYA invests heavily in training, with plans to exceed 100,000 hours of training this year, aiming to ensure that our people are able to perform at their best, working with passion, quality and commitment, within a highly integrated company structure and with a strong sense of belonging. This we achieve by putting robust internal dynamics in place.
(*) Conducted by AstraResearch in June-July 2022 on a sample of 15-19 year-olds in 5 countries with over 2,100 online interviews