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Employers, not employees, now find themselves in the situation where they have to come up with ways of making their jobs stand out among the rest


Years ago I read that doctors don't want to work in Ibiza. A paradise island and reasonable salary and working conditions would seem idyllic to most young unemployed, but the problem is that when they're not at work doctors need somewhere to sleep, keep their belongings and have a bit of private life. And it seems that in Ibiza there is no way of finding anywhere to rent. In the end, the people of Ibiza lose out, because their services are of poorer quality.

Now let's look at Malaga. This summer 25,000 professionals are needed to work in the services sector. Let's suppose, and I know it's a lot to suppose, that all the waiters earn at least 1,400 euros a month. Unemployed people in Malaga city and on the Costa del Sol have made it clear they are not prepared to come off the dole to take those jobs. Maybe because of their age, as they don't think they would be capable; or they hope to find something to which they are better suited, or at least a job which is less demanding in terms of time and concilation with family life; or maybe they are not really unemployed, or are not prepared to work and are only registered so they can receive benefits, which is another debate. We would have to see how many rushed to present their CV for jobs in chiringuito beach bars if their payments were stopped.

So businesses are having to look elsewhere, as the Balearics have had to do for decades. The situation is that with the salaries on offer, it is simply impossible to be able to rent an apartment and afford to eat in Malaga, and even more so in Marbella. Maybe, with luck, there might be a tiny room available in a grotty shared flat.

It is true that accommodation is much cheaper in inland villages, but then the distance is a problem, and the queues on the roads to get to and from work. Nobody fancies spending an hour to get there and another hour to get back, not to mention the cost of the petrol.

For the first time in history, it is not the workers who are having to beg for jobs; employers are having to be more imaginative and compete in order to attract the best professionals, and, obviously, they will go to whoever treats them best.

It's not just a question of improving salaries, but also offering quality rest time, paid overtime and help to pay rent, even if it's only one room, during the peak tourist season.

Situations like the present one are going to show who are the real entrepreneurs in the restaurant business, and who are only in it to rip off the tourists with their pre-cooked paellas.