In the context of an economic-business forum that essentially revolved around attracting talent, the president of Kutxabank, Antón Arriola, has put his finger on the sore spot and has relocated the debate in Euskadi, by denouncing the precariousness of salaries Of the youngs. The president of the bank that emerged from the union of the empty banks has stated that the salaries of young people are “extremely low” and, before a qualified business representation, he has called on the private sector to “get involved” to solve this situation.

Arriola’s statements took place within the framework of the “II International Conference on Education-Business Confluence”, organized by the economic and business group Zedarriak at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, and have made their way among the big headlines of Basque news.

In his speech, in which he questioned whether young people are paid fairly, he put the current situation in context, with a drop in birth rates in the Basque Country, an increasingly global competition for talent and with “changes in nature of the interest of young talent in terms of their professional career.

Antón Arriola, who has focused his reflection on young trained talent, has pointed out that it is evident that the population pyramid of Euskadi has inverted and there is increasingly “an older population”, while the birth rate in recent years “has not “It has done more than fall.”

Likewise, he has pointed out that, from the years 2029-2030, the number of young people of access age to higher education will “collapse”, with a drop of 36%. However, he has pointed out that, although there are fewer young people, they are “better trained” because in Euskadi 50% of them have a university degree or higher vocational training cycle.

Along with this, he highlighted that 57.6% of young Basques are trilingual and 69.5% speak fluent English, and internships in companies have become widespread among the youth of Euskadi.

Antón Arriola has indicated that in this scenario the competition for talent “has been exacerbated” and is “especially growing” in technological profiles, quantitative models or in data management and has added that for many years there has been “a phenomenon of a very intense flow of young talent to Madrid.”

On the other hand, he believes that there is also a new configuration of the interest of young people and there is “more and more talk that they want quality of life, training, career projection and give “absolute importance” to teleworking, while it seems that Remuneration was not important when, in his opinion, “it is.”

In his opinion, there is a “problem” with the salaries of young people and he has offered a series of data such as the “brutal” drop in the property rate among those under 35 years of age to 31.8% or the decrease of 28 % in their net wealth from 2020 to 2022. Likewise, the average age of emancipation in Spain is 30.3 years, compared to that of other countries such as Germany, which is 22 years.

He has also alluded to the drop from 69.3% to 31.8% for those under 35 years of age as owners of their main home or to the evolution of the income of this group, which has gone from 36,000 euros in 2002 to 29,000 euros. in 2022. Furthermore, from 2015 to 2022 the disposable income of young people between 16 and 29 years old has increased by 14.4%, but the price of housing has increased by 48%.

For all this, he believes that the thesis is “very simple” and the remuneration “is a very important element” for the integration of young people and that they can make “a life project”

According to him, although Euskadi, together with Madrid, has the “highest salaries in Spain”, it must be taken into account that they are average salaries and, although those of young Basques may be “a little higher than in other parts, “In any case they are extremely low.” “

In his opinion, if there is a group that “is really being treated unfairly and where the private sector can do something,” it is young people. He also believes that remuneration is important because it “reduces the incentive for talent flight”, since, currently, there is “talent flight due to remuneration”.

”There are engineers who go to the United States and do not return. They are engineers who charge two or three times more than they would charge here. This aspect is important because the importance of remuneration is often disregarded. If you raise them 500 euros, 1,000 euros or 2,000 euros, they may not care that much, but if you double their salary, that would be another story because you are already on a path where you can make a life project,” he said.

Therefore, he believes that remuneration is important to avoid the flight of talent that is already occurring and also considers that it is “social justice”, beyond “it being a matter of convenience” for a company. “Companies need young people and we have to take care of their quality of life, give them a career project, give them training, but I believe that we also have to give them better remuneration,” he pointed out.

In this sense, he pointed out that Kutxabank has already set itself “on that path” and, between 2022 and 2024, the remuneration of young people has increased by 14%, and, in the case of internship contracts, by 17%.