We’ve brought you many articles about Bizkaia Talent, whose goal is to recover, preserve, and attract talent to the Basque Country.

And we’ve spoken of them so often because we believe this project to be very interesting and very necessary.  Moreover, as we’re here to share Basque news around the world, and well, they get quite a few mentions, not to mention international renown.

Today we’re bringing you not one but two British publications which have published op-ed pieces by Bizkaia Talent’s managing director, Iván Jiménez, analyzing two topics that are very much in the news in Great Britain.

On the one hand, there are the elements which have allowed a society such as the Basque one to prosper as it has.  Forty years ago, it was suffering through a painful de-industrialization process and was on the edge of ruin.  But it was able to overcome this situation and become a highly developed community with a high degree of social leveling.  It’s a place which other societies look to in order to get examples.  Just recently, Martin Wolf said as much in an article published in the Financial Times.

Secondly, there is the matter of capturing and retaining talent.  Great Britain, after Brexit, has a problem in that area.  Its position within the EU allowed it to become an end destination for many young people from the across Europe, who were able to find there work opportunities, experience, and career growth.  Now, all that is a bit harder, as can be seen in an interview on the Sky News morning show with Iván Jiménez himself.  There too, they asked him about the model used by Bizkaia Talent.

So we’ll leave you with both of the articles, but not without first making a few comments we usually make when these topics come up.

We’ve always found it curious how unnoticed Bizkaia Talent’s work and awards go abroad, given how they’re at the vanguard of a task that is fundamental for our country and yet usually disappears into the background.

But we’re especially surprised that, even after all these years, this fact still remains: our youth can find better jobs in European labor markets, which is where they end up going to work.

Our main “raw material” are our skilled workers, and their knowledge.  And we’re allowing this “wealth” to bleed away.  The education they received here is being applied elsewhere.  Of course, we are neither for nor against a period of training, learning, and experience abroad.  But this talent, our talent, must return.

The size of our companies oftentimes prevents them from offering a high degree of career advancement for our youth.  What can draw them, however, are good salaries and the amazing quality of life we have here.

If we think, if our companies think, that Basque companies’ ability to compete must be based on low salaries for our youth, we are choosing the wrong path.  If these youth cannot find good working conditions here, they will elsewhere.  What else can they do?  And that’s how we lose everything: our investment in their education, our people, and our future.

If we think, if our companies and governmental bodies think, that by investing in R&D at half the level Europe does, we’re going to move forward, they’re sadly mistaken.  We’re living at a time when you have to run just to not fall behind, and you have to positively sprint if you want to move forward.

Innovation, knowledge, education, research: they are the only tools we have to continue being a thriving, balanced, and united society.

The role Bizkaia Talent plays is fundamental,  but we believe the objective ought to be that render themselves unnecessary, and right now that’s hardly the case.  The goal should be to make our society one that attracts talent on its own, a place where young people either do not want to leave, or do, but with the goal of returning to spend their working career here, helping ot build a better country.

CAPX – 9/2/2022 – Great Britain

Build Basque Better: what Britain can learn from a region that has already ‘levelled up’

The UK government faces a significant challenge in its ‘levelling up’ agenda, not least because the UK has some of the worst regional inequality among the OECD’s 38 advanced economies. Productivity levels vary wildly – London is 32% above the UK average, Yorkshire and Humber 17% below. It’s a similar picture with employment, where the latest figures show the jobless rate in the east of England was 2.7%; in the north-east it was more than double that at 5.7%. Half of people living in London are graduates, while in the north-east the figure stands at a third.

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Coment Central- 1/2022 – Gran Bretaña

What London can learn from Bilbao about reattracting its lost talent

As London looks to attract people back to the city who left during the pandemic as home-working became the norm, Ivan Jimenez writes that London could learn a lesson or two from Bilbao on how to lure high skilled workers back to its streets.

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