EMPLOYERS in Slovakia have a growing interest in employing foreigners. The head of the Slovak Centre for Labour, Social Affairs and Family, Ján Sihelský, recently told an international conference about the lack of qualified labour: by the end of this July there were 15,000 European Union and developing country citizens working in Slovakia, the Pravda daily wrote.
This represents an increase of more than 5,000 persons since the end of last year. The number of workers from Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Vietnam has risen the most. “This reflects the trend towards internationalisation of the labour market,” Sihelský said.
Job offices estimate that in the near future a further 3,500 foreigners could find jobs in Slovakia, especially in the engineering and construction industry. Currently, foreigners make up 0.5 percent of the total labour force in Slovakia, according to Sihelský.
“In Austria, this share amounts to 12 percent, in Sweden 11.4 percent, and in Spain 10 percent,” Sihelský compared. He added that 275,000 foreigners work in the Czech Republic, 65,000 in Hungary, and 72,000 in Slovenia.
State secretary of the Labour Ministry Emília Kršíková pointed out that in Slovakia there is great demand for qualified labour which the long-term unemployed do not have the skills to meet.
“To compensate for the lack of highly qualified professionals in some branches, we support controlled migration for work. But its extent will depend on the situation in the labour market,” Kršíková added.