Spain’s hottest jobs 2014

Spain's unemployment rate may be at a record high but it's not all doom and gloom in the jobs market according to Adecco, a human resource consulting company, who have identified 15 in-demand positions for 2014.

Spain's hottest jobs 2014
Job Interview Photo: Shutterstock

The economic crisis in Spain has changed the face of the employment market but the Swiss multinational PR giant Adecco believes that some positions will be vacant this year, according to its new report on 'where to find work'.

Spanish daily Te Interesa reported that the fifteen best bets to beat the dole queue are as follows:

Airport ground staff

Air travel is a key component in the tourism on which the Spanish economy depends and airport staff who handle luggage, check ins, boarding and incidents are vital cogs in the money-making machine. There's no specific qualification required but ground staff need good communication and customer service skills, a can-do attitude, and the ability to speak English.

Quality control or R&D lab technician in the food industry

The food sector employs 20 per cent of Spain's industrial workers and is vital for the country's exports. Adecco believes that lab technicians will be in high demand this year to ensure that strict hygiene and quality standards are met. The position requires a degree in the relevant subject or specific vocational training.

SEO-SEM consultant

Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing experts are in demand as Spanish business models become increasingly internet-centric. Experience in the field is vital and consultants should have a degree or professional training in a related subject such as IT or Marketing.

Motor industry specialist production worker

Production line workers with specialist skills who can keep up with the pace of modern manufacturing are still needed by the auto industry. They have to be able to perform demanding but repetitive tasks under pressure and have the relevant professional training.

Account manager in banking and insurance

University graduates and MBAs with professional financial training will find work, according to Adecco. Account managers in these sectors need good customer skills, a results-oriented mentality and a proactive attitude.

Industrial engineer on international projects

 Civil, Electrical, Mechanical or Process Engineer graduates who speak good English and have 8-10 years experience could find themselves earning up to €100,000 ($138,000) per year for taking responsibility for tenders on overseas projects.

Multilingual call centre worker

Telesales operatives and customer service workers who can deal with clients in other countries will be recruited by the insurance sector, say Adecco, as Spanish companies focus on international markets. Language skills are essential, as is the ability to hit targets while working in stressful conditions.

Multilingual shop assistant

No formal qualifications are needed but persuasive people with good communication skills and fluency in other languages — especially English, Mandarin and Russian — could find work this year in retail outlets.

Industrial maintenance technician

Qualified maintenance techs with knowledge of SAP and English are being headhunted this year by industrial companies, according to the report.

Kitchen staff in fine dining restaurants

Restaurants and hotels are vital for tourism and the top-end of the creative cuisine market is currently benefitting from Spain's stellar reputation for fine food.  Professionally trained cooks with experience in multi-starred hotels and restaurants plus the creativity and stress tolerance to work in high-pressure kitchens will carve a role for themselves in 2014.

Senior Java architect

IT is one of the sectors to have best braved the storms of the economic crisis and experts in Java and similar technologies are still needed. Those who are suitably qualified and experienced can expect an average annual  wage of €40,000.

Warehouse worker

Crisis or no crisis, industry depends on logistics. No qualifications are needed to load goods, confirm the contents of shipments and move them around but hardworking and numerate staff with experience in logistics will be on the recruitment lists of the future, according to Adecco.

Healthcare sector technician

Taking care of the needs of the sick, elderly or those with special needs requires specialist qualifications and a high degree of empathy.  Those who fit the bill can expect to earn between €12,000 and €18,000 per year.

Executive assistant

Working as the right-hand-man or woman of a CEO or company director in a multinational environment can bring a wage of up to €40,000 per year. An extremely high level of English is essential as is a university degree in Business Administration.

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Do I have to take most of my annual leave in August in Spain?

Many Spanish companies still expect their workers to take their holidays at specific times of the year, primarily in August, right in the height of summer when many hotels are fully booked. So what are your rights, are you obliged to take your vacation in one particular month?

Do I have to take most of my annual leave in August in Spain?

While it’s your right as an employee to be able to take holiday days, do you have to take them when your company wants you to take them, or are you able to choose and have more flexibility?

Despite August being one of the hottest months in Spain and the one month of the year when many official companies and offices shut up shop, not everyone necessarily wants to take their break at the same time as everyone else.

Taking your holidays in August means less availability in hotels, overcrowding and more expensive transport and accommodation. If you don’t have children who are off from school during the summer months, then you may wish to take your vacation days at another time of the year, when it’s less busy and cheaper.

To answer the question it’s important to know the details about what the law says about how paid time off is taken, requested, imposed, or granted.

What laws or regulations dictate the rules about paid holiday time?

There are three different sets of rules and regulations, which are responsible for regulating the laws on vacation time in Spain. 

Firstly, you need to look at the Spanish Workers’ Statute, which includes rights, duties and obligations applicable to all salaried workers in Spain.

Secondly, you need to be aware of the collective sector and/or company agreements, which may dictate the rules for a particular industry for example.

Thirdly, you need to look at the contract, which you signed with your employer when you started working for them. This sets out your individual circumstances and the rules you must abide by.   

Workers Statute

As a general rule, all employees are subject to the Workers’ Statute. Holidays are part of this and are the subject of article 38. These conditions can never be contradicted by individual companies and are set as a guaranteed minimum. 

The minimum number of holidays in Spain is 30 calendar days per year. This equals two and a half days per month worked, in the case of temporary contracts. The statute states that vacations must be taken between January 1st and December 31st in separate periods, but one of them must be for at least two weeks. They are always paid and cannot be exchanged for financial compensation.

The period when you can take them is set by a common agreement between the employer and the worker, in accordance with what is established in the collective agreements on annual vacation planning. If there is disagreement, the social jurisdiction is resorted to.

At a minimum, the company must offer vacation days at least two months before the beginning of the holiday period, so that the employee has time to organise and book.   

When the planned time to take vacations coincides with a temporary disability, pregnancy, or childbirth, you have the right to enjoy the vacations at another time, even after the calendar year is over.

Collective agreements on vacations  

Your sector’s collective agreements may also help to answer this question. These aim to improve upon the basic and general rights that are included in the Workers’ Statute. They seek to adapt the rules to each type of industry or company. They could, for example, set out extra vacation days, which are greater than the standard 30 calendar days. 

You will need to find out what your specific sector or company’s collective agreement is. There is a possibility that your sector or company has mandatory summer vacations for the month of August and in that case, you can choose vacation dates, but only within this month.

Your work contract 

Lastly, you will need to consult your individual contract which you signed with the company when you were hired.  As well as the minimum conditions set out in the Workers’ Statute, your contract sets out your particular agreement with your employer in terms of holiday duration, the work calendar and other details.

Therefore, you should state in your contract whether you have to take your holidays during August, or if you’re free to take them at other times of the year.

If after consulting these three sets of regulations and there are still in doubt or in disagreement with your company about vacations, such as having to take them during the month of August, you should consult a lawyer specialising in labor law. They should be able to give you an answer specific to your situation.  

Can I appeal or disagree and what are the consequences? 

To appeal or express disagreement with what is proposed by the company, there is a period of 20 business days from when the vacation schedule is sent out, after which time you don’t have the right to show that you disagree.  

Companies can proceed to disciplinary dismissals due to abandonment of the job if you decide to take vacations that have not been granted or agreed upon with your employer. To avoid this type of problem, always make sure you have a record in writing of your request for vacation time and subsequent approval by the company.