Saturday, June 25

A shared challenge

Although in 2022 we will have to face immediate challenges such as the crisis in the supply chain, energy prices or the uneven recovery of the employment rate, we must be aware that we are faced with a historic opportunity to transform our economy.

And one of the aspects that require a priority response is improve productivity, significantly lower than that of neighboring countries. In fact, it registers a countercyclical behavior, whereby it increases in periods of recessions and decreases in expansionary phases.

Needless to say higher productivity boosts competitiveness and, therefore, increases the prospects for growth and the generation of employment and wealth. The solution is to modernize our productive fabric, a task that we must conceive as a shared challenge, which requires the joint response of Public Administrations, companies and civil society. There are two areas in which we should put special focus: lthe skills of professionals and the size of our SMEs.

I am convinced that people are true agents of change. For that reason, in a moment of transformation like the current one, it is urgently equip our professionals with the skills and abilities that this changing environment requires.

And this challenge must be approached from a vision that considers learning as a process that lasts throughout life. From compulsory education, integrating digital skills and greater awareness of our impact on the environment; to theto university education and professional training, with the necessary reinforcement of the link between curricula and business reality. And, of course, continuing this development and acquisition of capabilities in companies, in addition to betting on employment policies that affect, precisely, in improve employability.

If the training of professionals directly influences productivity, so does the size of the companies in which they work. As we already know, SMEs predominate in the composition of our productive fabric. And that, the smaller a company is, the more difficult it finds to integrate innovation and sustainability in its operational processes, access financing, reach new markets or develop the skills of its professionals.

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It is necessary for the Public Administrations to develop regulatory and fiscal policies that support the growth of SMEs, but also for larger companies to become aware of the work they can perform as a driving force behind this growth. In Spain, we have large companies that are international benchmarks and that they have the capacity to undertake large-scale projects that generate economies of scale in which SMEs participate. Given the historic opportunity posed by the funds from the Next Generation EU program, it is a priority to ensure that their transformative power reaches the entire business fabric and society as a whole.

In short, for advance down the road to recovery we have to improve the productivity of our economy with a cooperative response. The goal is a more prosperous, innovative, sustainable and inclusive society. Let’s work to build it.

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