Slovakia to deal with shortage of labour by employing foreigners
Slovakia witnessed fast economic growth of more than 4 percent in the first quarter of 2018. In June, the country's unemployment stood at 5.43 percent.
The lack of labour force in Slovakia is so alarming that employers point out that the current labour shortage situation in Slovakia is unsustainable and they are confronted with having to reject certain contracts due to the lack of labour.
"The growing economy should be able to continue to generate new jobs, however, especially in the west of the country, where there isn't a supply of suitable labour," stressed Unicredit Bank Slovakia analyst Lubomir Korsnak.
"We need to employ people from abroad, but procedures by getting permission for them last several months. This is simply too much," said Tibor Gregor, the managing director of Club 500, an association of companies with at least 500 employees.
The Slovak government perceives the situation on the labour market seriously and will adopt a number of measures in the area of the controlled import of labour. Employers will be able to hire workers from these countries in a fast-track procedure.
"Our factories need to respond very quickly to demand. Over the next two weeks all the state authorities that have something to do with approving the influx of labour from abroad are set to submit a package of measures, speeding up employing of foreign workers.
2The situation in Slovakia is rather critical at the moment," announced Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini, noting that if the country doesn't speed up processes for accepting foreign employees, Slovakia could lose its competitiveness vis-a-vis surrounding countries.
"However, we won't adopt measures that would deteriorate the conditions for Slovak employees. The companies will have to employ foreigners under the same conditions as those provided to Slovak employees and only in professions for which Slovakia lacks labour," pointed out Pellegrini, adding that currently more than 60,000 foreigners are employed in Slovakia . Most of them are from Serbia, Romania and Ukraine.
Several economists stressed that Slovak economy has also other options for filling vacant jobs than to import foreign workers.
The Slovak Finance Ministry's Institute for Financial Policy director Lucia Sramkova said that a disproportion on the labour market could be reduced by Slovaks who have left to work abroad.
According to Sramkova, the number of Slovaks returning home from abroad is growing. Among other measures that might help to address a lack of workers on the Slovak market, she mentioned increasing flexible forms of employing mothers on the labour market, an option to release human capital from the public to the private sector and the integration of Roma and other excluded communities into the labour market. ■