A young Spaniard searches for her fortune in Munich
More than 50 per cent of the young people in Spain are unemployed after post-secondary education. That is why many are turning away from their home country – especially well-trained engineers. In Germany as well, not everything is like the dreamed paradise.
Unpaid overtime, low-paying jobs or even no job – young Spaniards do not want to come to terms with the conditions in their homeland. A high unemployment rate awaits many Spaniards after their education: 53.5 percent of adolescents and young adults were without a job in November 2014.
Many see a great opportunity in Germany. Due to the severe economic crisis, Germany stands for the promised land of work for the young people in countries hit hardest by the recession. Around 30,000 Spaniards move to Germany every year according to the German Census Bureau, many of them young and educated.
Finding a job in Spain: No success
Beatriz Almonte is one of these talented youth. The 26-year-old is an engineer and specialized in chemistry. She graduated in Madrid in 2014 with a master’s in chemical engineering. When she couldn’t find a job there, she finally wrote applications to Germany, and it worked. Since the first of March, Almante has worked at the European Patent Office in Munich.
Quite proud, she wears her badge around her neck. “I classify patents in the chemical field,” explains the young Spaniard. “The job is perfect, challenging and varied. Every day I have to check new patent applications and decide in which group they fit. I learn a lot about the fields that I am classifying cause I read a lot of patents everyday.” Another benefit: Almonte has to improve her German. “For me, this language is very useful – especially professionally,” says Almonte. “I see Germany and my job here as a huge chance!”
900 Euros for a full time position as an academic
In Germany, she says, she earns more than double for the same job in Spain. When Almonte talks about the labour conditions in her home country, it is unimaginable for many Germans: “My engineer colleagues from studying in Spain earn 900 euros for a full-time job – if they have luck. That’s nothing for an engineer,” she says. As a university grad, this would not do – so she came to Germany for a job.
Germany is a country where Merkel invites Spanish professionals to come work. It is also a country where engineers are missing. A country “where everything is better,” says Almonte. “Here I can live on my salary, although Munich is expensive.” Here she only has to work the 40 hours for which she is paid for. And thanks to flexible working hours, she can come in at a spanish-friendly hour (9 a.m.).
“I miss tapas bars”
Despite these advantages, leaving home was not easy for Almonte, especially because her whole family lives in Madrid. “Fortunately, they all support me. They know that its my only chance to get a good job,” says Almonte. “As often as possible I fly home. Fortunately, there are good and convenient connections.”
When the young Spanish woman, with her blond curls, speaks about Madrid and her home country, then her eyes light up – especially when Spanish food or nightlife are the subjects: “I miss tapas bars. Meet people spontaneously on the streets and treat yourself to a little delicacy. In Spain a lot more is going on in the streets.” The Germans are, in her opinion, not quite as open and spontaneous. Maybe because of the bad weather, Almonte says with a grin. “But in the moment the weather is so great. Then I don’t miss Spain that much. ”
She loves Bavaria and the Bavarian beer
Of course, Munich has to offer a lot as well: “I love Bavaria and the Bavarian beer. And not to forget: The German breakfast,” says Almonte. Quite proud, she can even say “semmel,” the Bavarian word for little bread. And you get the feeling that the otherwise rather quiet Spaniard is blossoming out of herself.
So she has settled in well and feels welcome in this new foreign country. “I am very happy in Munich and hope that I can stay here for many years.” Where she wants to be in 10 years, that the Spaniard cannot say: “Of course I want to stay here in Germany at the moment, but maybe I want to go back to Spain someday. Or to another country,” says Almonte. “But however the future will be, I’ll make my way and be able to work everywhere.” She finally adds: “I definitely have found a second home here in Bavaria.”
There is one guy who still has a future in Germany ahead of him: Manolo. He wants to come to Germany in the summer of 2016 to work or study a master here. Check back soon to read about the hopes, dreams and battles that await him.