Study Abroad and Skilled Migration in Spain: A Complete Guide for 2023

Spain boasts a fascinating history, a wide-ranging culture, and a lively way of life. While there may be more obvious choices for a global education and career centre, it offers numerous opportunities across different fields. Spain has countless high-quality universities that provide top-notch education in various disciplines. The most noteworthy are the University of Barcelona, Complutense University of Madrid, and Pompeu Fabra. These institutions offer diverse programs, some of which are taught in English, making them popular with international students.

Cities like Barcelona and Madrid have also become hubs for technology startups and innovation. Due to the technology sector’s growth, there is a rising demand for skilled professionals in fields such as software development, data science, and digital marketing. Living and working in Spain can provide a unique cultural experience that many find enriching.

What after Education?

Of course, a job!
Then settle there. That is the usual pattern we follow. Here are some interesting factors about Spain that you should know before you head to Spain:

Why Spain?

Along with providing quality education, Spain has implemented two Special Migration Programmes (SMPs). The first is the GECCO Programme, managed by the Directorate General for Migration, which aims to recruit workers in sectors experiencing labour shortages, like agriculture, that are challenging to fill with national workers. Foreign workers are allowed to come to Spain temporarily to perform paid work with the intention that they can use and apply the skills they acquire upon their return, thus enhancing their employability in the local labour market.

Additionally, Spain promotes entrepreneurial skills in women chosen through the GECCO Programme. In pursuit of its objective, it is collaborating with Morocco on the WAFIRA project (Women as Independently Financial Rural Actors). Additionally, Spain executed a pilot project from 2019-2021 called “Young Generation as change agents”. This initiative gave higher education students scholarships to pursue a master’s degree in Spain. The project, co-funded by the EU, allowed 100 Moroccan graduates to specialize in one of the strategic sectors identified by their government. The program was a temporary migration scheme, requiring participants to return to Morocco after their studies. There was also a return and reintegration aspect to the project, which aided students in integrating into the local job market.

Exploring Innovative Approaches to Labor Migration through Skills Mobility Partnerships

Due to significant demographic changes, technological advancements, and more mobile workers, skill shortages in the European Union (EU) are becoming more apparent. To address this issue, Skills Mobility Partnerships (SMPs) with third countries are being considered as a potential solution. SMPs are a novel approach to promoting sustainable skilled migration and mobility, intending to develop skills for the benefit of both countries of origin and destination.

Talent Partnerships (TPs) and Global Skills Partnerships (GSPs) are closely related to SMPs. These partnerships focus on skills development, mobility, and support for talent to access employment opportunities in the countries of origin and host countries. Although SMPs may differ in form, mode of operation, and stakeholder involvement, they all have these common goals. Additionally, a recent report by the European Parliament emphasizes the importance of providing vocational training in the countries of origin as a key element of SMPs.

SMPs aim to achieve a “quadruple win” scenario that benefits the countries of origin and destination, migrant workers, employers, and the private sector. This approach aims to maximize the positive impact of migration on development.

SMPs typically include the following five components:
(1)formalized state cooperation
(2) multi-stakeholder involvement
(3) training
(4) skills recognition
(5) migration/ mobility
SMPs offer various opportunities, such as vocational training, internships, and scholarships in the country of origin or destination.

Skills Mobility Partnerships (SMPs) offer something different:

  • The skills development and recognition process involves migrants acquiring new professional skills or improving their existing ones based on prior experience and training. Means Study Abroad!

  • A partnership is established to organize mobility within legal migration channels. The country of destination or employers will cover some of the expenses for training and matching.

  • Mutual benefit is achieved when all parties involved receive benefits. For instance, the countries of origin can increase their potential pool of skills, the destination country can easily access skills in demand, and migrants can acquire and market new skills.

Key Points to Note

Skilled Migration Partnerships (SMPs) are becoming more acknowledged as an effective policy tool to encourage sustainable skilled migration and mobility and develop skills that benefit both countries. SMPs are closely related to two other concepts – Talent Partnerships and Global Skills Partnerships – often used interchangeably.

Agreements, programs, and pilot projects can be used to implement Strategic Mobility Partnerships (SMPs). SMPs are often created with partner countries or regions important to the destination country, but some are open to multiple partners. SMPs focus on healthcare, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), and agriculture sectors. On the bright side, SMPs have the potential to unlock skill mobility using a sustainable approach.

SMPs, TPs, and GSPs are unique approaches to labour migration because they aim for a “quadruple win” that benefits the individual, the employer, the destination state, and the country of origin. If designed and implemented well, these programs could facilitate bilateral and multilateral cooperation to improve migration and mobility while maximizing the potential of migrants’ skills.

Integrating skills mobility partnerships is crucial for an effective national or regional labour migration system. IOM is actively developing an approach and requirements for a Global Skills Partnership and SMPs to address identified challenges, leverage advantages, and enhance the economic benefits of skills-based migration. Working collaboratively with partners, IOM will initiate global, regional, and national efforts to support state-led SMPs towards an international skills partnership.

India Towards Sustainable Integration of Skills into Migration Governance!

The International Organization for Migration (IOM-UN Migration) recently conducted a pilot job skilling training in New Delhi. The training aimed to identify and advise on the necessary job skill sets for Indian professionals seeking employment opportunities abroad. Key stakeholders, including officials from the Union and various state governments, National Skills Development Corporation (NSDC), sector skills councils, TVET institutions, private sector and industry associations, recruitment agencies, Civil Society Organisations, and Academia, attended the training.

The training provided tools to strengthen their capacities in contributing to future Skills Mobility Partnerships engagements. Its focus was on mainstreaming skills-based migration governance to develop needed skills with positive outcomes for migrants, communities, labour markets, and economies of both countries of origin and destination. India, a vital migrant-sending country, has implemented bilateral agreements that include labour and human rights observation and social security for Indian migrant workers employed or seeking employment abroad, which is pivotal to their protection canopy. The government is about to set new global trends for India. Now it’s time to get, set and Go!

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