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Spanish young cooperators: an escape from the crisis

8 November 2011 [ English ] français ]

The unemployment and job insecurity figures among young Spaniards are chilling. Almost half of those aged between 16 and 29 years cannot find a job. This is not where it ends: the average wage among young people is 15,370 Euros per year, and 40% of the workers have jobs below their educational level. Juan Antonio Pedreño, president of the Spanish Confederation of Worker Cooperatives (COCETA) insists that while the rest of the companies are decreasing employment, in cooperatives the number of jobs is not only remaining the same but it is even increasing.

The newspaper “Empresa y trabajo” (www.empresaytrabajo.coop/023/index.asp) published by COCETA presents the experiences of Imperdible, Idaia, Emergya, Seis60, Dosotres y Claraboia, which are examples of cooperatives whose members were no more than 30 years old when they created their enterprises. It’s not the same as having a boss assigning work, it’s more like going to work and thinking that everything you do to improve will be for your benefit and not for someone else, declare the members of the Andalusian cooperative Seis60.

Cooperative training

As for cooperative training, COCETA is developing a program called “Aulacoop” aimed at young people who want to know what a worker cooperative is and how it is managed (www.aula.coop / itinerarios.asp). Furthermore, in each region there are courses and activities being organised, mainly in universities and colleges. Some universities have cooperative centres such as the Cooperative Research Centre (Cecoop) at the University of Santiago de Compostela, the University of Valencia and the Complutense University of Madrid.

Photo: Members of the cooperative Emergya in Andalucía (Spain)