New figures reveal that over 350,000 Spanish workers have left their home country in the last five years in search of employment abroad.
According to the Electoral Census of Spanish Nationals Resident Abroad (CERA), between early 2008 and July this year, 357,418 Spanish people went abroad to find work. Spain’s economy has been in the doldrums in recent years and unemployment in the country is currently over 20 per cent and is set to stay above that level until at least 2016.
Spanish health professionals have been one of the largest groups of workers to seek work abroad. According to The Medical Spanish Association, some 2,405 doctors applied for certification to work abroad last year alone – a 75 per cent increase from the previous year.
The country is also facing a severe nursing shortage, as more and more nurses look to ply their skills abroad following drastic cuts to the Spanish healthcare system. Figures show that Spain has just 541 nurses for every 100,000 inhabitants, compared to an average of 797 in the rest of the EU.
Industrial engineers and workers in the science and research fields have also left the country in their droves in the past few years, the CREA figures reveal.