There has been an increase in the number of European graduates relocating to the global south as a means of trying to secure the employment that their home countries are failing to offer them.
In January 2012, unemployment figures in Spain stood at 24.1%, and Greece was not lagging far behind, with unemployment reaching 21.7%. This is a drastic contrast when compared with the Netherlands who boast unemployment figures of just 4%. Unemployment amongst youth is drastically higher, with both Spain and Greece reaching the over 50% mark, whereas the flagging economy of Ireland only boasts 14.7% unemployment amongst its youth. Short-term unemployment is having adverse effects amongst the population within these countries, especially among new graduates who are taking drastic steps towards finding employment.
Considering the bad news that are constantly thrust upon them about the dire state of the European financial crisis and the crippling consequences that it has had on the European population, it is not surprising the new graduates are seeking alternative routes to secure employment. Growing opportunities from the BRIC countries are a hot target for European students looking for career opportunities, for as these economies continue to boom, there is an evident shortage of skilled individuals, individuals that Europe can undoubtedly supply them with. The bleak future that is available to them within Europe, combined with the growing economies of previously underdeveloped countries, is used as currency to lure graduates into emigrating abroad. The concept of working abroad satisfies their insatiable appetite for travel, while simultaneously withering away their unavoidable and pending encounter with unemployment.
Graduates are attracted by the idea of entering into a labour market where they can work for companies that care to advance their future career goals, as opposed to entering graduate training schemes, or post-graduate courses that are currently only working to pro-long the unemployment phase of their lives.
South-America and Africa are becoming hot spots as destinations for graduates who are seeking an escape from the squalor that growing unemployment is promising them. This ‘brain-drain’ has seen one in ten graduates immigrate away from Portugal to such destinations as Angola and Brazil. The Brazilian economy saw a 3% growth last year and job opportunities are rife due to international festivities such as the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympics that demand a large work force. 700,000 emigrants from Portugal currently live and work in Brazil. Angola is also a target for Portuguese graduates; the country is rich in natural resources such as oil and diamonds and integration in these societies is easy due to it being a former Portuguese colony, thus wiping away language and cultural boundaries that might have hindered their move. Argentina, where the economy saw an 8% growth last year, has also become a growing destination for Spanish graduates. 1,200 Spaniards are flocking to Argentinean shores on a monthly basis, with the majority experiencing limited constraints with regards to language, due to existent historical ties between the two countries.
Although this apparent brain-drain may be interpreted as having a negative impact upon the countries that are losing a large quantity of graduates as a consequence of the deteriorating financial crisis, this reverse brain-drain could have a positive impact on the economies of these weakening economies. The brain-drain could prove financially beneficial because there will be less pressure for the said governments to create employment opportunities, or offer social security benefits to those that are currently unemployed. This will in turn allow for their economies to stabilise and perhaps make progress towards recovering from the recession.