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Vodafone announced a few weeks ago that it was looking for 600 computer engineers for its European R&D center in Malaga, a city where Google is already looking for new employees. PepsiCo will add 400 people to Barcelona by 2024. Carto offers vacancies in Sevilla. BASF, which has hired 300 professionals over the past three years in Madrid, confirms it will continue to grow. Large companies have launched themselves in Spain looking for technical talent. Your request has been added to start-up, SMEs and traditional sectors like banking in full digitization. Violence has created an unprecedented shortage. “There is a tremendous mess with workers: some companies take them away from others,” says a worried and puzzled Felipe Romera, director of the Malaga Tech Park, where a good chunk of the 21,000 people who work have a technical profile. The situation is repeated in Valencia, Seville, Madrid, Bilbao or Barcelona. In the short term, this will continue. Amazon, Apple, Nestlé, Qonto or Novartis are looking to expand their workforce in the Iberian Peninsula.

The arrival of technology companies in Spain is not a coincidence. National professionals have a huge international poster and companies are settling down here, attracted by that talent. They consider it competitive. ie high knowledge and performance vs low cost. According to consulting companies, a computer engineer with four years of experience earns about 40,000 euros gross per year. The combination has had a pull effect and fueled qualified demand. The most needed artificial intelligence, robotics, big Datacyber security, virtual and augmented reality or Cloud, as explained by region and confirmed by the LinkedIn Emerging Jobs Report. The digitization of traditional sectors such as banks, insurance or real estate and the needs of thousands of SMEs also have an impact. “Engineers know this and have the upper hand. Pay is skyrocketing,” says Felix Ruiz, executive director of Platomic, by video call. Who wants the best, they have to pay.

Patrick Goet heads hub Digital which is in Madrid near BASF. “We came into 2019 because there were more professionals available. It was a differentiating factor”, he explains in wonderful Spanish. The German multinational has contracted 300 people over the past three years. Most are local “because they are so prepared”, although 20% come from abroad. The company has learned that if they want the best, they have to go after them. “In Germany we wait for candidates to apply for job offers, the initiative here is ours,” he says. Your team prepares job interviews more than a potential future employee. They want to align the arguments to convince them. They do it with telecommuting, competitive pay, free time prospects, clear hierarchies and ambitious projects. It’s not easy, but when they are successful, another problem arises: maintaining it. An added difficulty is when large US firms come into play, who are able to travel to any corner of the world to perform contracts.

To avoid the current shortage of experts, Google started working its ground a decade ago. After receiving VirusTotal from Malaga, his team led by Bernardo Quintero promoted training in their field, cybersecurity. Among its initiatives is the promotion of university specialist degrees in reverse engineering and malware intelligence, as well as the simultaneous promotion of the University of Málaga. With 30 participants each year, it is now in its fourth edition. “We have created our profile and no longer have that problem,” says Quinto, who also promotes the presence of women in the region. Companies look to universities: Spain has a hundred schools and faculties with computing-related degrees, 25 of which are private. An average of 23,000 graduates drop out of its classes every year, which is insufficient to satisfy the market. Last year, 9,781 places were offered, out of which 16,022 students competed as the first option, according to data from the Ministry of Universities. That is, more than 6,000 applicants were left out. From the 2015-2016 academic year, 82,622 students opted for 55,591 places. More than 27,000 had to give up their technical studies. According to the National Institute of Statistics, the unemployment rate in computer science is one of the five lowest university studies, at just 3.8%.

Flexibility and Speed

Companies ask for more training space—such as FP—and ask universities for greater flexibility and speed of adaptation. “Regulated and non-regulated training should be close to demand. and reorient your studies to STEM specialties [ciencias, tecnología, ingenierías y matemáticas], If done well, Spain will be a very relevant country as a technical benchmark. This is an opportunity that should not be missed”, says Mikel Marti, executive director of Tech Barcelona, ​​a private association that wants to promote start-ups and attract foreign talent to the Catalan capital. Availability of talent in any big city is essential for its future. “The university has a very important role there. Hence the training offer will increase. And it must be done in a systematic and planned manner”, explains Rafael Ventura, Vice President of Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Málaga.

He knows all the sides of the coin deeply.

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Vodafone knows that finding 600 engineers in Málaga’s capital – its regional director, Rafael Alcaide, wants 80% to be local – will be a challenge. Similar to PepsiCo and 400 people you want to have hub Barcelona, ​​where Ocado already has 200 employees and Nestlé has 600. Cities, aware of their economies of scale benefits of having these companies, want to help them find the profiles they are looking for. They best sell their properties to attract workers who, in turn, will attract companies. and vice versa. To convince one another, they highlight their communication, their leisure options or the availability of offices. They know that life beyond work is essential for workers in the digital economy. The municipalities have launched a competition in which Madrid stands out for its capital status, Barcelona for its history and cosmopolitan environment, Seville for its economic strength and Cartuja, Málaga for its quality of life, cultural proposition and dynamism. Stands for Science and Technology Park. In total there are dozens of job offers. Their common challenge is to train, attract and retain professionals. If they get