Spain is currently grappling with a shortage of skilled drivers in the transport sector, prompting the government to actively seek foreign drivers to alleviate the issue.
However, bureaucratic hurdles in the employment of foreigners persist, leading the government to consider revisions to current rules to facilitate the hiring of more foreign drivers.
Despite a notable increase in the number of transport companies in Spain, the scarcity of professional drivers is creating challenges for these companies in transporting their products. To address this, the Spanish ministries of Social Security, Transport, and Interior are collaborating to streamline current regulations for foreign drivers.
The ministries are advocating for increased hiring of non-EU drivers and have proposed bringing more foreign drivers to the country or regularizing immigrants already in Spain, allowing them to work. One key suggestion is to simplify the recognition process for foreign driver’s licenses, which currently can take up to eight months.
Several companies have expressed concern about the shortage of professional truck drivers, highlighting its potential impact on the transport of goods in the future. Data indicates that approximately 20% of companies in the transport sector are actively seeking drivers, with an estimated total demand reaching up to 15,000 drivers.
While the ministries have yet to issue an official statement regarding the measures they plan to implement, it is anticipated that changes will be made to facilitate the entry of more non-EU workers into Spain for employment purposes, with a possible easing of strict rules. This is expected to benefit both new entrants and immigrants already in the country, making it easier for them to enter the labor market.
As of the end of October, the Spanish government reported a total of 2,683,504 foreign workers across all sectors in the country. The majority of these workers were from Morocco, Colombia, and Venezuela, underscoring the diverse composition of the foreign workforce contributing to Spain’s economy.