Advice on working in Madeira

edited December 1969 in Employment
Can anyone give me any advice on what type of work is available for someone with only a basic ability to speak Portuguese?

I am currently learning the language, but would like to know if there is any kind of job that I could do in Madeira until my Portuguese improves.

I think that I would be able to learn the language a lot quicker once in Madeira, but have been told that it is difficult to get a job unless you are fluent in Portuguese.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.



  • Hi Mel,

    Best to throw yourself in at the deep end. If you truly want to learn the lingo, then work in the tourism sector as a waitor/waitress along side Portuguese speaking locals. This would keep you afloat financially until you have mastered the language, then you could pursue your career in your own profession. You also may want to take up a language course as well.

    The lifestyle in Madeira is heavenly with the only drawback being that the wages are low in comparison to the general cost of living. You will need to have a little bit of a nest egg behind you if you are sensible so you don't find yourself in the soup later on.

    Boa Sorte!

  • Just how easy is it to find permanent work and settle in Madeira? Is there a contact address or equivalent of an employment agency? I've had no luck in attempts to surf the net; just keep getting hotel ads! Is it relatively easy for ex-pats to achieve residency? What do the locals think?

    I was an English teacher (secondary) but now run a teacher training course for adults. I looked at the University website but couldn't get an English translation and my Portuguese is laughable at the moment though slowly progressing...

    We'd be hopeless running a business, which seems to be what most people do when setting up abroad, but would need some kind of permanent employment in order to live.

    Any advice gratefully received. Good luck Mel!

  • Hi Alison,

    I can totally understand your struggling to make headway from abroad when looking for employment in Madeira. I was once in the same situation, luckily though, within a matter of weeks after having arrived here, I found work and that too, work of my choice. I was just lucky.

    Realistically it is not easy... it's as simple as that.

    However that does not mean it's impossible. Having a teaching background makes your prospects more positive. There is a very good lanuages education centre here where you may be able to run your course/s or such like. Meantime at the same centre you could improve upon your Portuguese. The centre is Funchal city centre based and is run by a Canadian guy called Tony. You can telephone him at the centre on 00351 291 000 103 - I think he will be the best person to advise you.

    Follow through with him and you'll be speaking Portuguese in no time! (Sorry I don't have his email address)

    Ps there is also an academy here that may like what you have to offer, and have you tried to approach the British School in Funchal?

    Boa Sorte! Tchau Shirley
  • Many thanks Shirley; my first break through! I appreciate your response.

    Now I just have to find out about work for my partner - a cremator operator!! (really)



  • Hi All,
    Not sure how often this forum gets read or updated but thought i would give it a try.
    I currently reside in South Africa and work in financial markets (investment banking). Just out of interest what is the banking sector (retail side of things) in Madeira like in terms of job vacancies, competitiveness etc...

    (My parents were both born in Madeira - Ribiera Brava.)

    Thanks - Obrigada e tenha um dia marvaloso!
  • February 04 2013. Hi, I'm
    Not sure how often , this forum gets read or updated , but thought I would give it a try. I currently reside in USA , Las Vegas , I'm a Project Director for The Grand View at. Las Vegas , a time share resort, I been working there since 2004, I'm born in Morocco, I been in US since 1996 , I'm an American citizen , I'm looking to move to Madeira ASAP if I get a job offer. Thank you
  • muffyzari - you are unlikely to get work in Madeira, plus you would need a work permit unless you are a EU citizen. Timeshare work in Madeira is commission based and there are currently no jobs. Other industries are giving first option to local Madeirans as there are few jobs and they have little or no money. You will need to be self financil suppoeting for at least two years, even if you get work permit.
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