The Jury of the 7th Edition of the “Novia Salcedo Awards for Excellence in the Professional Integration of Young People”, which met in Bilbao on 21 April 2016 chaired by Mr Antonio Garrigues, suggested an in-depth review of the event after seven successful editions. This review was to include the most pressing problems affecting the world; for example, the integration and education of people suffering severe exclusion.

As a means of approaching the most serious problems of humanity we considered the 2030 Agenda, adopted by the UN General Assembly in September 2015, as “the best framework we have to promote the well-being of humanity and the ambitious project of ensuring peace and prosperity for all on a healthy planet” (Antonio Guterres, Secretary General).

Novia Salcedo has been familiar with this Agenda since its origins and we are committed to achieving its goals, given our special consultative status in the United Nations Economic and Social Council and as an associated entity of this organisation’s Department of Public Information.

In addition to our career spanning almost 40 years at the service of improving the employability of young people, we now find ourselves in an even more challenging situation; an Agenda consisting of 17 goals and 169 targets that are interdependent and in which youth unemployment is specified and considered, together with gender equality, one of the main accelerators.

Novia Salcedo considers that the challenge of providing all young people on the planet with decent employment will drive the economic and social transformation of individuals, businesses, organisations, and society. The NSF agrees with the view expressed in Goal 8b that states that, by 2030, there should be a situation of full employment, social protection, and decent work for all young people.

Within this context, we believe that the 8th Edition of the Novia Salcedo Awards is an excellent opportunity to take a step forward and become an example regarding the 2030 Agenda and, more specifically, the Goals that are most directly related to young people and their employability, which are:

  • SDG 4. Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning.
  • SDG 5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
  • SDG 8. Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all.
  • SDG 10. Reduce inequality within and among countries.

Finally, we cannot overlook the fact that, this year, we are celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Articles 23, 25 and 26 of this Declaration, which refer to the right to work, to wages, to protection, and to human dignity, to an adequate standard of living or to education, tell us that the challenges and commitments identified are still valid.

To achieve these goals effectively, we need a new approach aimed at interdependently eradicating poverty in all its forms, combating inequality among countries, preserving the planet by creating sustainable, inclusive, and sustained economic growth, and developing social inclusion. Consequently, this will be the approach and the framework that will guide us during the 8th Edition of the Novia Salcedo Awards.