NEWS

Greek graduates lag behind in skills

TAGS: Economy, Society

Greek university graduates have inadequate skills, compared to their peers in the rest of Europe, to access highly sought jobs, according to a report by the European Center for the Development of Vocational Training (CEDEFOP) regarding job prospects in Greece and Europe.

“It’s a matter of a shortage of skills of job candidates, and whether they meet the needs of businesses,” said Cedefop expert Kostas Pouliakas, who added that the problem is more acute in sectors which demand highly skilled applicants, such as information technology (IT).

According to CEDEFOP, graduates with degrees in business administration, IT and sales will be in the greatest demand by 2025, while the most promising sectors in terms of job opportunities in the years leading up to 2025 are real estate and civil engineering which, together with others, are expected to command 22.67 percent of the job market, followed by the accommodation and food industry sector at 18.84 percent, which includes tourism.

Greece’s aging population will also have an impact, according to CEDEFOP, citing the decrease in the work force, which will undermine the economy and society itself.

According to Pouliakas, demographics will have a negative impact on the agriculture sector.

“In agriculture, there will be 307,253 vacancies by 2025 and this will not be because of the sector’s growth but due to the age of today’s farmers, who will retire and not be replaced by new blood,” he said.

However, according to Pouliakas, these projections must be viewed with caution, given that they are based on econometric models that also include employment trends that were prevalent before the onset of the Greek financial crisis seven years ago – when the real estate sector reigned supreme.

“There has been a notable rise in unemployment in the country in recent years, due to the financial crisis, and it is difficult to predict the short- and medium-term prospects,” CEDEFOP said.

However, it stressed that demand for highly skilled professionals will continue over the following years and their numbers will increase by 2025, while that for less-skilled workers will decrease within the same period.

Moreover, CEDEFOP stressed that in order to achieve a greater balance between labor supply and demand in the Greek economy, highly skilled individuals are needed from institutes of higher education, which is an area that Greece lags behind other EU countries.

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