During the pandemic the closure of the hotel industry and the subsequent restrictions caused many professionals in the sector to leave. Now, after a normal year, with international tourism back, the problem of a lack staff of persists and the hotel and catering industry is still struggling to find workers to cover the demand in bars and restaurants.
Cristóbal Garre, Councillor for Employment, Economic Development and Pymes (small businesses), said: "This year we have found that we cannot reduce unemployment any further because there are not the personnel profiles that companies are looking for".
"In the unemployment data we are improving year after year and it is not easy to lower the level beyond a certain point," Garre explained.
"In terms of catering, there are companies that have not found people to open more spaces. We have been contacted by companies such as the Takumi restaurant, the Asador Guadalmina, the Casa Fernando restaurant or the Da Bruno Group, which have found it very difficult to find employees. They have called us to desperately try to find profiles," Garre said.
"We put these offers on the employment portal and, although we have a database of 6,600 unemployed people, no professionals are found," the councillor added.
In his opinion, despite the fact that the businesses are willing to hire inexperienced staff and train them, there are various reasons that have led to the current situation. "There may be a mismatch between what is offered and what you want to earn for work, but from what employers tell us, they are paying up to 1,500 euros in wages plus tips, which can reach 200 euros a week.
"The work-life balance is difficult in this type of work and there are many different individual situations that lead to people not accepting these job offers".
As a result, "most of the contracts that are currently being made are permanent because the companies want to maintain their workforces all year round. The number of permanent contracts is double that of temporary contracts".
Garre said this was beneficial as it represent in the traditional seasonality of employment in the sector. "Marbella continues to have people from October to January and February, months that were previously difficult for the hotel and catering industry, and this maintains employment throughout the year.
"International tourism is flocking to Marbella and thanks to that the city is doing well although national tourism has slowed down a little," Garre added.