Wanted: better command of German

THREE months after the complete opening of the German and Austrian labour markets, Slovaks continue to be very interested in working in these German-speaking countries. Job agencies report a higher number of available jobs in Germany, Austria and Switzerland than at the beginning of the year as well as an even higher number than when the German and Austrian markets opened on May 1. However, low command of the German language by many Slovaks often disqualifies them from getting the available jobs, the Sme daily wrote in late August.

THREE months after the complete opening of the German and Austrian labour markets, Slovaks continue to be very interested in working in these German-speaking countries. Job agencies report a higher number of available jobs in Germany, Austria and Switzerland than at the beginning of the year as well as an even higher number than when the German and Austrian markets opened on May 1. However, low command of the German language by many Slovaks often disqualifies them from getting the available jobs, the Sme daily wrote in late August.

“The interest in German-language markets is still high; we register 150 job applicants monthly,” said Jan Trgala from Trenkwalder, the biggest personnel agency operating in Slovakia, as quoted by Sme. “We register a comparable number of offers from Austria, Germany and Switzerland. These are mainly qualified positions and all require active command of German. But most [Slovak] applicants speak German only minimally.”

Some experts say Austria and Germany opened their labour markets too late and those seeking to work abroad had found jobs elsewhere, especially in the UK and Ireland.

Germany expected 140,000 migrant workers to arrive since the start of May from the eight countries that entered the EU on May 1, 2004 but only 10,324 migrant workers from those countries actually arrived. But this was double the number of workers who had arrived in April when entry permission was required.


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