Taking the road abroad
Just how bad is the economic crisis anyway? I recently came across Pier Luigi Celli‘s open letter to his son titled “My son, leave this country” urging the about-to-graduate engineer to move abroad in order to find opportunities for skilled work in his chosen field. The motivation for the letter is not just the unemployment rate in Italy, apparently Italy has other problems to deal with asides the economic recession which are cited in the letter. While the letter was written back in 2009 and the worst of the recession is now over, the reality is lots of highly skilled workers especially from countries like Italy, which belongs to a group of nations known as the PIIGS of Europe (distasteful acronym I must say) have run out of patience as their countries experience unemployment rates above the EU average.
“My advice is that you, having finished your studies, take the road abroad”.
The younger generation are the worst affected and fortunately the most mobile, it is not surprising they have taken Pier Luigi Celli’s advice to his son and have moved abroad. If the situation in Italy with an unemployment rate of 7 per cent at the time was so bad, how bad will it be in Spain and Greece with rates hovering around 25 per cent? Very bad.
Countries like Germany with acute skilled labour shortage have wasted no time in seizing the moment. Companies have organized job fairs in far away Portugal and even announced vacancies on local TV, effectively luring away the best of a struggling nation’s workforce. The UK while not having a labour shortage is a default destination since most migrants speak English as a second language. Canada wants English speaking skilled workers from Ireland and is trying hard to convince them to pick Canada ahead of Australia and New Zealand which have a much nicer weather and skilled labour shortages of their own. There are lots of options available to those willing to move abroad and it is feared most will not return. Nevertheless, not all are willing to abandon ship despite the lack of oppourtunities, the president of Italy had to meet with the younger generation to send across a counter message, asking them to be patient with Italy. This is necessary because in times of recession, nations need the smartest and brightest minds to get back on their feet.
As for Pier Luigi Celli’s son, he graduated, did not take his father’s advice and the best he could get was an internship, at the time; his daughter became a nun many years ago too. Poor Pier Luigi Celli, his kids don’t seem to like his advice.