On Monday, 15 October, King Philip VI and Lehendakari Urkullu presided over the 8th edition of the Novia Salcedo Awards at the Arriaga Theatre. The jury of these biennial awards, chaired by the prestigious lawyer Antonio Garrigues Walker, ruled last July that the winners in the various categories were Sabino Ayestarán, professor at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU); the activist Diego Echegoyen, the driving force behind an NGO in the neighbourhood of San Francisco George Belinga; the Egile corporation of Eduardo Junkera, current president of Adegi; TuPrimeraPega and TuPrimerLaburo and the NGO Braval.
During his speech, the monarch explained that youth unemployment is one of the most important problems facing society today, a problem which must be addressed through “shared knowledge”. In the same line, he considered that, in this current context, which is “so difficult and competitive”, organisations are facing “increasingly complex” problems that require innovative ideas and solutions. In response to the specific issue of youth employment, Philip VI added that “we have to consider clearly the creation of shared knowledge and social innovation” and he highlighted the need to “involve businesses and society as a whole” in this challenge.
Lehendakari Iñigo Urkullu stressed that the struggle against youth unemployment is something that requires all institutions to meet and work together. He also advocated “closer” cooperation between the institutions and businesses, as well as social initiatives to create “high quality” employment. In that regard, the president of the Basque Government stressed that, for this term, he is still pursuing the goal of integrating 20,000 young people into the job market.
The awards ceremony was also attended by the Major of Bilbao, Juan Mari Aburto; the Minister of Work, Magdalena Valerio; the Basque regional ministers of Economy, Education, Work and Employment, and other authorities from the world of politics and the judiciary.