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FERROL, Spain — By the time Borja Bernardez got home it was nearly three in the afternoon, and he was hungry. But there was no time for lunch. He had applied to join the Spanish navy and exam results were about to be posted online. Borja made a beeline for his computer.
Borja, now 27, dropped out of high school during his last year to pursue welding. After learning the trade, he quickly found work at Navantia, one of the largest shipbuilding companies in world and a major employer in his hometown of Ferrol, a port city on the northwest cost of Spain. It paid well. As an apprentice he was making up to 2,000 euros a month.
“I was building ships for the navy and was earning more than the people in the navy,” he said. “It was great.”