Gibraltar businesses training up local workers as Spaniards stay away post-Brexit

Gibraltar: Morton discusses priorities in post-Brexit relations

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Sarah Carreras owns Mayfair On Main hair salon and revealed that there is a “huge shortage” of skilled blue-collar workers in the Rock. Traditionally these posts had been filled by Spaniards, or people living in Spain and commuting across the Frontier.

Brexit has not stopped this, but combined with the Covid it has made firms based in Gibraltar begin to increasingly look at training up staff with these skills, she said.

There have also been issues with the standards of some Spanish qualifications when compared to the UK, she explained.

Mrs Carreras, who runs a training colleague alongside her salon, told “I started a business about six years ago and found that it was near impossible to get staff in locally.

“You were either white-collar or nothing.

“The majority of stylists were Spanish and the quality and level of their training and qualifications are not the same as the UK.

“That why I set up the academy.

“We need this more than ever because we need to train people up locally.

“We could see that things could become more difficult sending people overseas after Brexit with visas etc.

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“We are spearheading the vocational offering and hoping that other industries will follow suit.”

Since setting up her academy, Mrs Carreras has gained accreditation from the City and Guilds in the UK.

She said that she “works closely” with the Rock’s Government to provide Level 2 and 3 NVQs in hairdressing and beauty.

They currently have 40 students who are learning “on the job”.

She added: “We need this more than ever because we need to train people up locally.

“We are solving an issue where we can’t get talent locally.

“The wider issue is we need to train up our talent locally and keep it in house.

“That doesn’t just apply in hairdressing but with other industries too.

“Thankfully other people have realised this and are starting to train up their own staff too.”

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