Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory (BOT) located on the south coast of Spain. This country is an ideal location for many English-speaking expats, given that English is the national language, with Spanish also being widely spoken. However, there is far more to Gibraltar than meets the eye.
There are plenty of reasons why many British and European expats seek long-term or permanent residency
in Gibraltar, from its weather to its flexible attitude towards EU and EEA citizens looking to relocate. Gibraltar also has quite a diverse job market, with many specific sectors thriving and presenting appealing opportunities for people to work. This guide will look at the reasons to consider moving to this popular territory and how you can go about finding work in one of its thriving industries.
Why Move to Gibraltar?
Gibraltar has a stable local economy, predominantly built around tourism, logistics and financial services, with the latter being one of the many perks of Gibraltarian residency. It’s not surprising to see why Gibraltar is looked on favourably for offshore banking and its rather lenient tax laws.
However, Gibraltar provides a healthy work-life balance for many European expats who can develop decent careers in professional services while enjoying many of the perks of its subtropical Mediterranean climate and eye-catching landscapes. For instance, Gibraltar tends to receive sunshine most of the time and poses no language barriers to native English speakers. It’s fair to say that Gibraltar, aesthetically speaking, is ideal for anyone with a passion for eclectic culture and outdoor lifestyle activities, given that it’s becoming a relocation hotspot for many expats.
Due to the open border, many expats often choose to live in Spain, commuting to Gibraltar for work. Statistically speaking, over 20,000 people have permanent employment in Gibraltar, with roughly 45% of this figure crossing the border for work every day, without running into any problems. Comparatively, Spain does not pose the same level of secure employment opportunities and often lacks as far as working conditions and wages are concerned. As such, many people come to Gibraltar in search of stable and secure working environments, crossing the border when it suits them while benefiting from the reassuring ‘Britishness’ of the country’s culture and picturesque views.
Job Market in Gibraltar in 2023
However, in terms of the benefits of working in Gibraltar, if you have a background in accountancy, law, finance, gaming, teaching, IT, insurance, hospitality, or similar, you may find yourself on the cusp of a fulfilling new job opportunity.
Whether you are looking for entry-level jobs, graduate opportunities, or roles in middle or senior management, you’re bound to find a variety of openings. Gibraltar plays host to several international companies that operate on a similar level to many established UK firms. For example, many online gaming organisations base their head offices in Gibraltar now.
Gibraltar also has a very low unemployment rate, providing expats with plenty of work, particularly during the summer months in the tourism sector. The work culture mirrors that of the UK, with a standard working week of 40 hours, and 48 at maximum. Employees are entitled to the same mandatory benefits postulated by law, such as annual leave, public holidays, maternity leave, sick leave, severance pay, and many standard social security benefits.
The public holidays that Gibraltar celebrates will match that of the mainland UK, with the addition of International Workers’ Memorial Day on the 28th of April, the Monarch’s birthday, and Gibraltar National Day on the 10th of September.
To recap, Gibraltar’s primary sectors for employment are:
- Online gaming and gambling
- Legal services
- Health services
- Hospitality – restaurants, kitchens and bars
How to Find Work in Gibraltar
It’s not uncommon for Gibraltarian companies to help financially and logistically with the relocation process. This can make the job-hunting process significantly easier and less stressful.
However, many people that consider moving to Gibraltar for permanent work question whether it’s possible to relocate without having secured a position. In most cases, this won’t be an issue, with applicants likely having to undergo professional screening and interview processes. However, some companies will prefer to hire people that have already relocated. Therefore, it’s important to confirm the possibilities before you travel if you can.
Securing a job in Gibraltar can be largely attributed to the industry you are seeking employment. If you have specialised skills in one of the main industries listed above, you have a strong chance of finding a good job there. However, word of mouth and personal recommendations from residents and experienced workers that have already moved there will also go a long way.
To avoid any undue surprises or risks, however, it’s best to anticipate an experience similar to finding work in the UK. Therefore, scouring online job boards, contacting recruiters, and outreaching out to companies that have expressed a need for workers are good practices to start with.
To reiterate, English is the predominant language spoken in Gibraltar, so don’t expect to run into a significant language barrier even if you don’t know Spanish. That said, Spanish speaking, reading and writing skills can sometimes put you in good stead with certain employers, giving you an edge over competing applicants.
Final Things to Remember Before Relocating to Gibraltar
Moving to Gibraltar can be a scary prospect for many people. However, as said above, it can come with numerous professional and personal benefits. If you are to take anything away from reading the information in this article, let it be the following:
- Gibraltar is a very small territory (6.8 km2), with a population of roughly 33,000 people.
- It’s a peninsula attached to Spain that is classed as a British Overseas Territory.
- English is the national language, but learning Spanish could be a wise move.
- It has a similar working culture to the UK, with most businesses running a 40-hour work week, Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 17:00, or thereabouts.
- Gibraltar will present many opportunities for experienced workers in sectors such as law, finance, online gaming, tourism, hospitality, and others.
- The territory uses the Gibraltar pound, which is worth the same as Pound Sterling.
- The standard corporate income tax (CIT) rate is 12.5%.
In conclusion, it’s clear to see that many advantages come from working in Gibraltar. If you do decide to take that plunge, good luck!