Spain has announced plans to train and employ truck drivers from Morocco in an effort to ease labour shortages.
The move follows the recent release of figures by the European Road Hauliers Association, which revealed that Europe is in need of around 400,000 truck drivers.
The pilot program, which is one of the first to apply Spain’s new migration regulations, will allow for the flexible hiring of foreigners in their home countries to fill technical vacancies or provide them with visas to study.
The chosen drivers will undergo training in Morocco and complete it in Spain, receiving a work contract for at least one year.
The Spanish government aims to regularise migration and alleviate the problem of irregular migration, which has been a major area of friction with Morocco.
The move is seen as an effort to improve the tense relationship between the two neighbouring countries, which have maintained a program of circular migration for years, allowing thousands of Moroccan workers to come to work in Spanish agriculture.
Despite Spain’s high unemployment rate of 12.87%, the COVID-19 pandemic has encouraged more workers to enter the formal economy, leading to a record-high formal employment and an increase in Spain’s GDP, which is set to recover to pre-pandemic levels this year.