The new generations of students are a source of talent for the future of society and the company too. On this premise, in 2017 Cellnex Spain launched the Ignición project, an initiative with the main goal of developing young talent through continuous mentoring and a number of complementary activities during their university work placements in the company, which offer them added value and help to make them more employable in their future careers.
Entering the world of work is a very important stage in young peoples’ professional and personal development. However, according to the Report on Young People in Spain 2020 (Informe de Juventud en España 2020) “In August 2020, the rate of unemployment among under 25s in the EU was 17.6%, while in Spain it was 40.7%.” In addition, education remains markedly segregated by gender and sexual orientation since, according to the report, “both women and people who identify as non-heterosexual tend to rule out careers in science, technology and mathematics (STEM) associated with better paid jobs and higher rates of employment”.
In these circumstances, the Ignición project continues to work towards the goal of reversing the figures and getting young people (through generational diversity) to drive the much-needed change.
As stated in the 2020 Report on Young People and the Labour Market in Spain (Informe Jóvenes y Mercado de Trabajo en España del 2020), internships in companies, along with other aspects related to personal training, have positive effects on job placement. To that end, according to Anna Bufi, People & Organisation Director at Cellnex Spain, Ignición “contributes to the vocational training of young people through the assignment of mentors and continuous support that we provide from the Human Resources Department throughout the entire work placement”. Note also that 39% of engineering students in Cellnex internships are female, above the average in STEM careers.
Attracting, retaining and developing young talent
Since the project began in 2017, initiatives and activities have been added to attract, retain and develop young talent. Accordingly, after five years in operation, the results are very positive, with some 50 students on internships, in cooperation with 48 different universities, notably the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and the Universitat de València.
Likewise, if offers mutual benefits, since its objectives are closely aligned with the objectives set by the group in terms of equity, diversity and inclusion, by fostering diversity and equality among the workforce right from the selection process. For Cellnex, people are the most important asset and, therefore, socially responsible, integrating, inclusive and transversal management of the human team is a genuine driver of change for mutual and sustainable development.
The following video illustrates the vision of some of the young participants in the Ignición project, such as Aroa Jiménez (Intern – Broadcast Deployment) who says: “they always offered us training opportunities and explained aspects that were not strictly part of our tasks as interns”; or like Víctor Pérez (Intern – MNO business) who highlights from his experience at Cellnex: “a close relationship with colleagues, teamwork and flexible working hours”.
There are several stages in a student’s work placement, ranging from their choice of the company as a place to work and the selection of the student by the company, to the right training to enable them to develop significantly and to successfully take the opportunities to come.
In this context, Ignición has carried out a number of external activities such as participation in the SATELEC employment and technology forum, the 5G masterclass with Jaume Pujol, the Rovira i Virgili University jobs fair, and the Aerotelecom Forum. These are in addition to periodic in-house activities such as workshops, cross-disciplinary training , masterclasses and focus groups.
Against this background, the programme also focuses on young people’s skills and qualities and encourages dialogue, debate and networking. These two-way activities create a bond with the students, who also offer valuable insights that provide feedback to the project and allow new quality measures to be proposed so that Ignición continues to grow over the coming years.