Spain’s social security and migration minister said on Friday that the country aims to loosen work permit regulations for foreigners in order to alleviate labor shortages in areas like tourism and construction, which are threatening the country’s economic recovery.
According to Jose Luis Escriva, the administration aims to award more temporary visas to industries that require labor.
“We’re looking at several areas of the migration legislation to see where we can strengthen it… to alleviate bottlenecks in the Spanish labor market,” he added.
Tourism, agricultural, construction, and technology industries have all experienced labor shortages.
Around 50,000 non-EU students will be able to combine their education with jobs, according to the administration.
It will also make work permits more accessible to people who can demonstrate a prior link to Spain, whether by family, domicile, or at least two years of labor, even if it was informal.
The most urgent job openings, according to a draft of the revisions, are for telemarketers, sales reps, delivery truck drivers, and software engineers.
The tourist industry in Spain has rebounded well, but employers are having difficulty finding people to serve tables and clean hotel rooms, a problem that the government has described as a European-wide issue.
Despite increased demand in May, according to the S&P monthly purchasing managers survey released on Friday, firms were unable to grow as quickly as planned due to labor shortages. As a result, the research underlined the possibility of wage inflation.
There are concerns that a lack of personnel may impede Spain’s capacity to carry out EU-funded pandemic recovery programs.
Spain’s economy was the heaviest damaged by the epidemic in the euro zone, falling 11% in 2020.
Though unemployment remains high by European standards, at 13.65%, the epidemic drove more people to enter the formal economy since furlough payments required legal contracts.
As a result, the number of people working in formal jobs has reached an all-time high.
Spain has migration agreements in place with Morocco, Ecuador, and Colombia, and is willing to extend temporary work visas to additional Central American nations. According to media reports, a new pilot initiative with Honduras began earlier this year.