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Economic woes prompt influx of Spanish jobseekers to Brighton and Hove
Spain's poor economy is being credited for a new wave of Spanish immigration
Figures obtained by the Argus revealed there has been a 45% rise in the number of Spaniards heading to Brighton and Hove since 2010.
The poor economy in Spain is the main cause for the influx, with half of those aged 18 to 24 out of work.
In 2011, just under 1,000 from Spain came to the city and registered for a National Insurance number. The number is up from 680 in 2010 and just 370 in 2008.
Tina Lloyd, senior consultant from Office Angels in Brighton, said she had seen far more Spaniards come looking for work in the past 12 months.
She said: “Sometimes we wonder if a plane has just come in as there is one after the other through the door.
“A lot of them are saying they have got friends or family here and are enjoying it so they come looking for jobs here. They are saying there are no jobs back home.
“They are all so friendly, and are really good natured. The people are warm in the way they come across. It is such a shame when we cannot find them work.”
Mrs Lloyd said the majority of Spanish jobseekers were being employed in customer services, with demand high for bilinguists in Spanish and English.
She added: “There are some companies with global contacts and want Spanish speakers.”
Paul Silvester, director of studies at Castle School of English, said many more Spaniards are looking for work rather than studying.
He added: “A year or two ago there was about 75% studying and 25% working. But that has now swapped around.
“What we have noticed is a lot of students coming here wanting to study but having to fit it in around a job. Before that was not the case.
“The job is the most important thing for a huge percentage.”
Mr Silvester said he had helped several students apply for National Insurance numbers so they could work.
He added: “The first thing they say is they cannot find a job at home so they want to work here. They also want to improve their English so they have a better chance of getting a job back in Spain.
“[The rise in numbers] is definitely because of the economic crisis over there. I feel sorry for them unable to work in their own country. I cannot imagine what that is like.”
Spain is in its second recession in four years, hit hard by the bursting of the property bubble that threw millions out of work.
Between April and June 2012, 53,500 people lost their jobs, compared with 365,900 in the first quarter, the national statistics office said.
The economic worries in Ireland could have been a factor in the rise in Irish people coming to the city too. Last year 160 people came to the city from Ireland, compared to 90 the year before – an increase of 78%.
With jobs hard to find, it is unsurprising the majority of nations represented are from the European Union, as there are fewer hurdles in getting work or studying.
Italy saw 370 people come to Brighton, followed by 340 from France and 200 from Germany.
Poland was still strongly represented, with 290 coming to the city, but the number was down sharply from 2008, when 540 arrived.
But other Eastern European countries featured in the list of migrants, with Lithuania and Hungary having hundreds registering for their NI number.
Further afield, the number of Indian migrants fell by about 70, while Australia was also in the top ten with 120 people arriving in 2011.