Working abroad can be an adventure so say adios to rainy old Britain and go and discover the job and work experience opportunities on offer in sunny Spain

With almost 300,000 British citizens currently living in Spain, the Spanish job market coupled with the country’s Mediterranean way of life, appears to be a popular choice for Brits who want to work overseas.

Job market in Spain

Spain has a strong tourism industry, welcoming over 60 million visitors in 2013 . Cataluña is Spain’s most popular destination, followed by the Balearic Islands, the Canary Islands and Andalucía. With a high percentage of British tourists visiting Spain during the summer months, there is always a need for English-speaking workers in many of the hotspots.

According to the National Statistics Institute, the total number of unemployed stands at 5.93 million, with the unemployment rate in Spain at almost 26% according to figures for the first quarter of 2014.

Job vacancies

To find out which sectors need workers, use the region-specific search on EURES Job Search.

For the latest skilled jobs in Spain, search Xpat Jobs – Spain.

Work experience and internships in Spain

In Spain, work experience is held in high regard. Before applying for graduate positions, students are expected to have completed two to three years of work experience.

You can apply to work as an English language assistant through the British Council – Language Assistants in Spain.

Internships and summer work placements for students can also be arranged by:

  • AIESEC UK – for students and recent graduates;
  • IAESTE UK – for science, engineering and applied arts students.

Volunteering in Spain

Voluntary work has become an increasingly popular option for graduates looking for work experience. Not only will it put your language skills to the test and help you understand Spanish culture, it will provide you with an opportunity to make important contacts and look fantastic on your CV.

The European Commission (EC) funds a scheme called The European Voluntary Service (EVS), which is aimed at people aged 17 to 30 wishing to volunteer abroad. It offers young people the chance to volunteer for up to 12 months in a number of European and non-European countries.

Opportunities vary from placements concerned with sport and culture to others focused on social care and the environment. For successful applicants, accommodation, travel, food and insurance are all covered by a European grant and you even receive a personal allowance each month.

Language requirements

If you do not have a strong grasp of Spanish then jobs can be hard to find, other than jobs in the expat community or in the tourist areas.

There are lots of Spanish-speaking courses in the UK and many good websites exist to help you learn a language or improve your skills. To get your Spanish up to scratch, visit

Spanish visas and immigration

According to the EC, European Union (EU) citizens have the right to:

  • move to another EU country to work without a work permit;
  • enjoy equal treatment with nationals in access to employment, working conditions and all other social and tax advantages;
  • stay in the country even after employment has finished.

For more information and to check what conditions and restrictions apply, see:

EU nationals may also be entitled to have certain types of health and social security coverage transferred to the country in which they go to seek work. For country-specific information on social security entitlements, see European Commission – Your Rights Country by Country.

Depending on your occupation, your qualifications may be recognised in some countries. To find out more, visit Europa – Qualifications for Employment.

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