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Thinking about a summer job in Spain this year?

Tuesday 3rd January 2012

Summer jobs in Spain have long been top of many working traveller wishlists, but does the state of the Spanish economy spell the end of seasonal jobs for travellers in Ibiza or the Costa Del Sol?

Spain is a great destination for travellers. It has fantastic weather, lots of diverse towns and cities, and beautiful countryside. Until recently, it was also popular as a destination for students and working holiday makers looking for temporary jobs in the booming hospitality and tourism industry. But the economic downturn has hit Spain hard, and recent figures show that unemployment has risen to over 22%, a record high of 4.42million Spanish people claiming unemployment benefits. Youth unemployment (unemployment in people aged under 25) in Spain has risen to over 48% according to the European Commission, the highest youth unemployment rate in the European Union. Compare this to the youth unemployment rate in the Netherlands, which is just over 8%.

So competition for even part time, temporary jobs in Spain will be tougher than ever this summer. Even in destinations like Ibiza and the Costa Del Sol resorts, where English speaking staff are in highest demand, it will be harder to find work for the summer months. Bear in mind as well that the work you do find in bars or restaurants will tend to be part time and low paid, so it is essential that you are realistic about your budgets for accommodation and living costs.

There are a few things you can do to increase your chances of finding summer work in Spain in 2012. Here are our top tips:

  • Learn some Spanish. Not being able to speak Spanish will make you less appealing than another candidate who can. The more skills and experience you have, the better.
  • Get a great CV together in both English and Spanish.
  • Start your jobhunting and networking early, use Gapwork's featured companies in the Europe jobs section to help you. You need to be contacting people and businesses in March or April with a view to starting a job in the summer.
  • Budget realistically - don't assume you will get accommodation with your job for example. Make sure you take enough cash with you to pay for at least 3 weeks accommodation and living costs. 
  • You stand a much greater chance of finding work if you are actually out there, networking and making yourself known to potential employers. If you can afford to, plan a factfinding/jobhunting mission in the Spring. 
If you don't find a job for the summer in Spain, don't be disheartened. There are other destinations you could try if working is the most important thing, or if it is the country itself that is the main draw, why not play your part and support the Spanish people by heading over there for a holiday or summer travelling around the country? There is so much more to Spain than sun, sea, sand and sangria, and you can travel very economically around the country to explore amazing sites and natural landscapes. Why not try historic Cordoba, World Heritage Site Caceres, or lively Salamanca as starting points? Or one of the many stunning National Parks? Spain has so much to offer as a travel destination, that it seems a shame to discount it for this summer because of the lack of opportunity to find a temporary job. Work at home for a bit longer, save some cash, then head over to Spain to spend it and enjoy is our advice!