Working In The Costa de la Luz

Published on 30/07/2007 in Relocating to Spain

In my first article “Why I live on the Costa de la Luz”, I touched on employment in this region being hard come by. This is probably one of the first and most important topics to expand upon.

There is very low unemployment in the province; all the Spanish work, even the elderly. But the wages are low, 8 – 12 euros per hour is typical. Also, to work for the Spanish you will need to speak some of their language. The English speaking Spanish are few and tend to be the professional people. This is the major difference between ours and the Mediterranean Costa’s.

If you want to be self-employed (Autonimo) then it’s best to have a skill

There are a lot of people who come to do things that they are not skilled in and fail. Typically builders, who can’t really build, man with van operators and handymen. These types of businesses are usually unlicenced and provide sketchy services that the locals are now very wary of.

Some come to start a bar or restaurant

Be aware that the licences for these kinds of businesses can take months to obtain and you need to have sufficient funds behind you to sustain a long and often frustrating wait.
An intended Fish & Chip proprietor I knew gave up after more than a year because at the end of the day the local authority would not allow a fryer in the front as we do in the UK.  The attractions of  “The Real Spain” can be equally negative.

It’s not all doom and gloom though!!

I have friends who are qualified electricians and plumbers etc. who have taken the trouble to get registered and pay their taxes. A new English butcher rode out the year it took him to get his licences and now has a thriving business. I know successful builders, taxi drivers, shop owners and property companies. There are even several British magazines printed. Many of these businesses advertise on my own website and it’s worth having a look to see what is here already.

My advice is that it would definitely be worth a prolonged visit to the area to establish whether there is a need for your intended business and whether the region suits you personally. Check out the competition, even give me a call, I know most people down here and will willingly give you an unbiased opinion.


Written by: Paul Day

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