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Andorra - Finding Employment
Your first step is to obtain a criminal record check from your home country. If you are looking for casual work, do this before you head to Andorra. Employers will ask to see it before they offer you a job. This document could take up to six weeks to arrive, which could really delay your work permit application process. However, bear in mind that the criminal record check cannot be any more than three months old when the work application is started.
If you live in the UK, your criminal record check will be issued by the Disclosure and Barring Service, so is known as a DBS check. It can be ordered online via , Disclosure Scotland and NIdirect.gov.uk.
Once you have been offered a job, your prospective employer will sponsor your application for a work permit, and will pay for it. They will also be responsible for deducting your CASS (social security scheme) payments from your wages and giving them to the government so that you can access subsidised state healthcare during your contract. You will submit the criminal record check with your work permit application.
You will also need a valid passport, passport photos, a marriage certificate if applicable, evidence of your qualifications for the work if they are required, and confirmation of where you are living in Andorra. If you are renting a property, then the rental agreement will be acceptable proof of address. However, if you are staying at a hostel, the owner needs to produce written confirmation of your residence there.
Again, if you are looking for casual work, it makes sense to organise longer term accommodation after you have got a job. You will then be sure you can afford to stay for the rest of the season, and that your choice of location is convenient for travelling to and from work. Doing things this way round also means you can receive suggestions from your employer or new co-workers for an affordable yet decent place to stay, as they will have local contacts and knowledge. Sometimes accommodation is offered as part of the employment package.
Seasonal Work In Andorra
The principality of Andorra has both a small territory and a small population. However, the roughly 80,000 residents are joined by more than 10 million tourists in a typical year, the majority of them during the winter ski season. This means Andorran leisure businesses rely heavily on international staff coming to fulfil seasonal jobs, including a number of specialist roles.
All employers must pay at least the minimum wage. Bars, restaurants and hotels usually prefer staff who can work full time over evenings and weekends when they are at their busiest. You will often be offered a temporary contract, which will end towards the close of the ski season.
If you head to the English-speaking resorts, the ability to speak Catalan, Spanish or French will be useful but not essential. Elsewhere, however, you may have difficulty communicating with many customers and co-workers if you do not have a decent grasp of one of these languages. Therefore, your choice of destination should be chosen carefully according to your language skills.
The Association of Andorran Hotels (UHA) has a website which advertises a range of hospitality jobs available across Andorra. Unfortunately the site is not available in English, which highlights some of the language issues you may encounter in your job hunt.
Alternatively, ski-jobs.co.uk advertises a wide range of hospitality jobs available in a number of locations, including Andorra.
Employers will want to interview you before offering you a job. As a result, most seasonal workers head out to Andorra with their police certificate and search for work in person whilst living in cheap, temporary accommodation, and then apply for a work permit from within Andorra when they are offered a job.
Employers have plenty of experience obtaining staff work permits so they should be able to tell you how to go about the process.
Ski slopes tend to open in the last week of November, so that is a good time to arrive in Andorra looking for seasonal work. This will give you enough time to find a position and obtain the work permit, which takes about two weeks, before the tourist numbers increase significantly in the week before Christmas.
Throughout the ski season, which is about five months every year, there is heavy consumer demand for ski instructors.
Only official ski schools are permitted to deliver skiing lessons, so you must obtain a job through them; you cannot work as an independent instructor.
You will need to show evidence of your ski instructor’s qualification to your prospective employer. As a bare minimum, this must be at least equal to the British Association of Snowsport Instructors (BASI) Level 2 Instructor Qualification.
If you have higher qualifications, you can justify a higher hourly rate.
The BASI website clearly sets out the going hourly rates for each level of qualification. This is useful for ensuring any offer of work is matched with an appropriate financial package.
Other sports activities in Andorra include horse riding, climbing, mountain biking and paragliding. Some of these are offered during the summer. As with ski instructors, your qualifications and experience will be essential to obtaining work in this field.
With all sports instruction, make sure your own health insurance and professional indemnity insurance needs are covered. Bear in mind that your CASS payments will subsidise any medical care, but you will be asked to pay up to 25 percent of the costs. Any sport has a risk of injury for all participants, and these significantly increase when speed, mountain slopes, equipment, trees and other people are added to the mix! Both you and the clients are at risk of injury. Talk to your employer about this and receive written evidence of the cover they have provided for you.
Teaching English In Andorra
Although Catalan is the official language of Andorra, the reality is that the cosmopolitan population speak a wide range of languages, while the importance of tourism means most residents speak more than one language fluently. Whilst English is not the dominant foreign language, there are some areas which attract large numbers of British tourists and so English-speaking staff are in demand there.
The opportunities to teach English are more limited than in other European countries. The principality’s education system is popular with parents, so only one international school exists, and there isn’t the network of private schools that exist in many expat communities around the world.
Instead, you will may be able to find work with one of the private language schools, which provide lessons to children, adolescents and adults attending classes after school and work. This means the contract you are offered will probably be part-time, supplemented with private one-to-one sessions.
You will be asked to show your TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certificate as evidence that you can perform the teaching duties adequately.
Banking Jobs In Andorra
The private banking sector accounts for a fifth of the Andorran economy, so it is important to the financial health of the nation. Average salaries in Andorra are higher than in many European countries, and the banking sector accounts for much of this.
Banking and financial services organisations require highly-skilled, experienced and qualified staff. If you have these qualities but only speak English, your application will still be closely considered. Should you accept a job in an Andorran bank, learning Catalan will be a useful way to understand your colleagues and the business you are working in, as well as making the adjustment to your new country easier.
The websites of Andorran private banks normally have a page in English welcoming applications and CVs from suitably qualified and experienced banking professionals. However, as can be found on the Morabanc site, information about internships is not available in English. This suggests that migrants without a banking background are not the applicants the bank is seeking.
Unlike jobs in the hospitality market, private banking vacancies will be filled by formal process and highly selective criteria, reflecting the complexity of the work and the high salaries on offer. Therefore, you are likely to fly out to Andorra for your interviews and assessments, and complete the work permit application from your home country, with the assistance of your prospective employer.
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