Greece is in first place in the 27-member EU as regards unemployed graduates, in spite of the fact that unemployment is down and that the percentage of graduates is above the European average, according to the answer given by the European Commission to a question by New Democracy MP Kostis Hatzidakis. Although in Greece the percentage of people with a higher education level is 20.6% compared to the European average of 22.4%, graduate unemployment stands at 7%, putting Greece in first place.
Spain is in second place, with a graduate percentage of 28.2% and graduate unemployment at 6.1%. Finland, however, which has the most graduates (34.6%), has a graduate unemployment rate of 4.4%, while Ireland has the lowest rate (2%) out of a graduate percentage of 29.6%.
European Commission records also showed that Greece’s record in graduate unemployment is out of line with the overall fall in unemployment in recent years. Unemployment was down to 8.6% in December 2006, from 11.3% in early 2004.
There are only three European countries with higher overall unemployment than Greece: Poland (12.3%), Slovakia (11.9%) and France (9%), while the EU average in December 2006 was 7.5%.
These data clearly show that higher education in Greece is not connected to the job market. Further changes are necessary to connect universities to production. Our country requires more structural changes in education in order to take its rightful place in Europe and stop producing jobless graduates.