Council of Ministers

The Government of Spain approves the Public Employment Offer for 2024, the largest in history

Council of Ministers - 2024.7.2

2/07/2024. Press conference after the Council of Ministers. Elma Saiz, Pilar Alegría, Yolanda Díaz and José Luis Escrivá, at the press confe... Elma Saiz, Pilar Alegría, Yolanda Díaz and José Luis Escrivá, at the press conference after the Council of Ministers (Pool Moncloa/José Manuel Álvarez)

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The Council of Ministers has approved the Public Employment Offer (OEP) for the year 2024, which totals a record 40,146 vacancies.

The Minister for Digital Transformation and Public Function, José Luis Escrivá, stressed that this OEP consolidates the recovery of public employment that began in 2018, since when the average annual offer is triple that of the 2012-2017 period. Taking into account the additions and losses in the workforce, the net annual loss of some 5,000 public sector workers between 2012 and 2018 has shifted to a net gain of 5,000 employees in 2024.

Commitment to talent, inclusion and citizen care

Of the 40,146 new posts, 31,465 correspond to the General State Administration, and the rest are divided between the National Police Corps (2,857), the Civil Guard (3,158) and the Armed Forces (2,666). The minister pointed out that over 10,000 positions in the General State Administration are earmarked for internal promotion, with the aim of boosting the professional careers of civil servants. He also underlined that for the first time in an OEP, 10% of the vacancies (3,147) are reserved for people with disabilities - 629 of them for people with intellectual disabilities.

Another key objective is to strengthen the local level. In this regard, 501 positions have been created for Local Administration officials with national authorisation. Furthermore, according to Escrivá, progress is being made towards a more decentralised model of selection processes.

The Minister for Digital Transformation and Public Function, José Luis Escrivá, during the press conference after the Council of Ministers | Pool Moncloa/José Manuel Álvarez

Attention to citizenship and justice are also among the priorities. The OEP includes almost 8,500 open positions for subgroups C1 and C2, whose activity is focused on citizen services, as well as a historic offer in the Administration of Justice, with 2,520 open positions.

In terms of strategic sectors, the minister mentioned the almost 3,000 vacancies offered in the field of social cohesion and inclusive policies, the more than 1,800 vacancies related to digital transformation and the almost 1,000 vacancies corresponding to penitentiary institutions.

Transition to a new model

José Luis Escrivá explained that this is an OEP "of transition to a model that focuses more clearly on human resources planning", on a medium-term vision and on the concept of public employees as "human capital in which we must invest" and not a "cost".

He added that his department is working on this new system with all the ministries and public agencies and entities that depend on the General State Administration, as well as with the autonomous communities and local entities, within the Public Employment Coordination Commission. The minister argued that each administration should reflect on what its fundamental functions are, analyse its current situation and plan with what type of public workers it must serve the public. "I am convinced that we will have results very soon so that next year we can have a very large, but also a more flexible, offer," he said.

Annual Plan for the Promotion of Decent Work 2024

The Council of Ministers has approved the Annual Plan for the Promotion of Decent Employment 2024, which is the regulatory framework through which public employment systems must design and manage their policies. The plan, which has been drawn up in collaboration with the autonomous communities, includes 89 services and programmes and is endowed with just under €6.39 billion to finance them.

The Second Vice-President of the Government and Minister for Work and Social Economy, Yolanda Díaz, has detailed that the document establishes for the first time the global objective of improving by 10% the employability of the beneficiaries of active employment policies in all the Autonomous Communities and in the National Employment System as a whole. In addition, communities will have to meet specific targets and commit to report on their progress on a quarterly basis.

The Second Vice-President of the Government and Minister for Work and Social Economy, Yolanda Díaz, during her speech at the press conference | Pool Moncloa/José Manuel Álvarez

Yolanda Díaz reiterated the government's commitment to two groups, the over-45s and the over-52s, as set out in the plan. In this regard, the plan establishes a period of six months for the Public Employment Services to prepare an individualised profile and itinerary for the beneficiaries of unemployment benefits for the over-45s, and to assign them a tutor who will monitor their selective processes and employability. The necessary information will also be provided so that the most representative trade union and business organisations can analyse the investment made in active employment policies in favour of people over 52 years of age.

Taking stock of the 2023 Plan

Yolanda Díaz argued that when public employment policies are well used, employability improves by 25%. Last year, 3.9 million people were assisted by the Public Employment Service (SEPE), 70% of whom were women and 30% were young people. The second vice president stressed that more than one million of these got a stable permanent contract within six months.

In addition, the Minister for Work said that 65,000 self-employed workers have had access to the mechanisms provided by the Public Employment Service to promote their business projects and are developing their businesses thanks to these actions. Díaz pointed out that the SEPE also offered 1,735,000 vacant jobs, which were accessed by more than 1,300,000 people.

Endowment of Active Employment Policies

The Government has approved the €771.6 million in territorial distribution from SEPE funds, for approval at a forthcoming Sectoral Conference on Employment and Labour Affairs. This amount is in addition to the €1.8 billion already distributed at the last sectoral conferences.

The vice-president has indicated that the funds will be used for work-linked training schemes, which is a mechanism for unemployed young people to receive training at the same time as they work. They will also enable the human resources of the public employment services for informing users to be modernised and strengthened.

Increased protection against carcinogens at work

The Executive has approved new legislation that will provide greater protection for workers against risks relating to exposure to carcinogens, mutagens and reprotoxic agents. The regulation incorporates 14 new reprotoxicants, i.e. substances that affect human reproduction and can cause infertility, miscarriages and foetal malformations. These substances include lead and its inorganic compounds. It also sets exposure limit values for acrylonitrile and nickel compounds and updates the existing limit value for benzene.

Yolanda Díaz said that with this decision "we are fighting against climate change and deploying a new culture of training and prevention in the business world". The measure will also contribute to reducing cancer cases linked to the professional environment.

Hate speech against unaccompanied minors on the Internet

The Minister for Inclusion, Social Security and Migration, Elma Saiz, explains the agreements approved in the Council of Ministers | Pool Moncloa/José Manuel Álvarez

The Council of Ministers has approved the Annual Report on the monitoring of hate speech on social networks for 2023. This report, produced by the Spanish Observatory on Racism and Xenophobia (Oberaxe), is based on the daily search, analysis and reporting of racist, xenophobic, Islamophobic, anti-Semitic and anti-Roma hate speech content published on five platforms: Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube and X - the former Twitter.

The main objective of the Oberaxe report, which comes under the Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration, is to point out the danger that hate speech poses for society as a whole, and to serve as training and awareness-raising material and for decision-making by public administrations, as explained by the head of this department, Elma Saiz.

Among the report's conclusions, the minister noted that unaccompanied migrant children and young people are presented on the main social networks as a threat. Specifically, 45.5% of the discourse they are subjected to directly links them to citizen insecurity, and in more than half the cases explicit aggressive language is used. Saiz has described these data as "particularly alarming", as without the guardianship of their parents or relatives these children are in a situation of extreme vulnerability.

People of North African origin and Islamophobia are the two categories with the most hate content. Saiz pointed out that this mainly affects the population of Moroccan origin, which is the second most numerous foreign nationality in Spain. More than half the messages monitored and reported dehumanise or seriously degrade the people they refer to, and 21.2% of the messages incite the expulsion of the immigrant group.

The minister also underlined that in 2023 the five monitored platforms removed less than half (49.4%) the content reported to them as potentially constituting an administrative offence or violating their own rules of conduct. Reports of potential hate speech are less likely to be removed when made by an ordinary user than when reported by a 'trusted or qualified communicator'.

Recommendations against hate speech

Saiz warned of the "devastating impact" the culture of hate speech spread through the networks has on victims: "It increases their vulnerability and sense of insecurity and hinders the normal development of their lives".

Faced with this situation, the report also puts forward various recommendations, such as resolutely promoting the rejection of this discourse, appealing to the responsibility of the platforms to remove this content before it goes viral, and working on the social integration of migrants with policies that ensure the protection of their dignity and rights.

The minister announced that in the autumn an agreement with LALIGA, the entity responsible for organising national professional football competitions in Spain, will be signed to be able to use its "sophisticated" social media monitoring tool. Saiz repeated that the government will be forceful in the face of hate speech, sending a message to the groups that receive it: "You are not alone, and the government will be with you each and every day".

New speciality of Emergency Medicine and funding for child poverty

The Minister for Education, Vocational Training and Sports and Government Spokesperson, Pilar Alegría, during her speech at the press conference after the Council of Ministers | Pool Moncloa/José Manuel Álvarez

The Minister for Education, Vocational Training and Sports and Government Spokesperson, Pilar Alegría, has reported on the approval by the Council of Ministers of the new speciality of Emergency Medicine, which she described as a "highly sought-after" subject. The training, the minister explained, will last a minimum of four years, with the first two years common to the speciality of Family and Community Medicine. The regulation also establishes a procedure for professionals in either of the two specialities to obtain the other qualification by means of an assessment test and a training period.

The Executive has also given the green light to the transfer of nearly €200 million to the Autonomous Communities for the Protection of Families and Attention to Child Poverty Programme. Alegría explained that this endowment will finance three programmes: €108 million for basic benefits such as home help and alternative accommodation; €65 million focused on food and family reconciliation projects; and €25 million focused on the comprehensive protection of children and adolescents against violence.

Current Affairs

At the press conference following the Council of Ministers, the Minister for Inclusion, Social Security and Migration assessed the employment figures and social security contributor statistics published today: "We have been creating jobs for fifty uninterrupted and consecutive months". In the first half of the year, 557,000 jobs have been created, and the average number of new registrations is now close to 21.4 million.

Elma Saiz highlighted the evolution of female employment - 55% of the jobs created are female and women now account for 47.3% of affiliation - the dynamism of youth employment and the increase in self-employed workers to reach their highest figure since 2008.

"Not only are more jobs being created, but they are also of higher quality," added the minister. There are 3.6 million more workers with permanent contracts than before the labour reform, a growth that is concentrated among those with full-time contracts. Moreover, the improvement in employment has boosted the ratio of contributors to pensioners, which stands at 2.45, the highest figure since 2011.

For her part, Yolanda Díaz stressed that unemployment among two groups, young people aged under 25 years and women, is at historic lows. These data, she said, are a reflection of the measures the government is developing and the actions deployed in the Social Dialogue Table.

Reduction of working hours

The second vice-president announced that next week she will present a new proposal on the reduction of weekly working hours to employers, calling on employers to reach an agreement. "It is not normal that Spain has had a frozen working day since 1983. It is not normal that productivity has grown by more than 15% since 1995 compared to wages, which grew by only 1.2%", she stressed.

The Government has anticipated that it will not accept a reduction in working hours in exchange for extending the legal number of overtime hours, which is currently 80 per year. "In Spain there are more than 6 million overtime hours per week and more than 3 million are irregular and unpaid," she said.

Renewal of the State Pact against Gender-Based Violence

Pilar Alegría began her speech at the press conference by expressing her condolences on behalf of the Government to the families of the latest five victims of sexist crimes: three women and two minors murdered this weekend in Cuenca, Málaga and Granada.

Alegría reiterated the "firm" commitment of the Executive against gender violence, calling on all parties to renew the State Pact against Gender Violence: "It is important to continue to strengthen this struggle in which unity plays an essential role, which is why we call on all political forces in this country," said the spokesperson.

The minister warned that denialism is jeopardising the progress made in this area since the Comprehensive Law against Gender Violence was passed 20 years ago. "We need to take no steps backwards in this structural violence, which has led to the murder of 1,263 women in our country since 2003 and 62 minors since 2013," she concluded.

Resignification of the Valley of Cuelgamuros

Last, the spokeswoman reported that the first meeting of the Interministerial Commission for the re-signification of the Valley of Cuelgamuros has been held before the Council of Ministers. This commission, whose creation was approved on 11 June, will meet once a month, will be chaired by the Minister for Territorial Policy and Democratic Memory, Ángel Víctor Torres, and will include representatives from the ministries of the Presidency, Finance, Transport, Labour, Ecological Transition, Housing, Culture and Science.

Non official translation