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More workers in Slovakia's IT valley

INFORMATION and communication technology (ICT) is one of the fastest developing sectors within the EU, and Slovakia is no exception. The sector employs about 40,000 people here, whose average monthly wage is €1,750, the Košice daily Korzár wrote in late March.

Košice is seeking more IT specialists.Košice is seeking more IT specialists.(Source: TASR)

INFORMATION and communication technology (ICT) is one of the fastest developing sectors within the EU, and Slovakia is no exception. The sector employs about 40,000 people here, whose average monthly wage is €1,750, the Košice daily Korzár wrote in late March.

“IT companies are a significant part of Slovakia’s industry, given that they [pay] just in income and payroll taxes roughly €470 million annually,” Juraj Sabaka, the president of the Slovak IT Association (ITAS) said at the Quo Vadis ICT conference held in Košice in March, adding that by comparison, the automotive industry, which employs 50 percent more people, provides only €300 million to the state annually. “Also in 2013 we expect wages in the ICT sector to grow by about 5 percent across Slovakia.”

The conference focused on three topics: trends in ICT, IT Valley as a communication platform and good practices in the region of eastern Slovakia.

Jozef Ondáš, the executive director of the Košice IT Valley association, under which ICT companies in the region are clustered, said that more than 95 percent of all activities of companies from IT Valley are exported around the globe.

“We do not need highways to develop ICT,” said Ondáš. “But we have to inevitably invest in the interconnection of business with academia, innovation and a creative economy.”

Two of Košice IT Valley’s major ambitions are to increase the number of members to 100, and for these companies, many of which provide outsourcing, to create an additional 4,000 jobs to exceed the level of 10,000 by 2020.

By the end of 2013 about 700 new positions should be created in the IT sector in Košice, and several companies from the Košice IT Valley association, like T-Systems, Siemens, RWE IT, Ness KDC and IBM, have already announced that they will recruit new staff thanks to orders for smart technologies in the energy sector.

The Košice-based arm of the US company AT&T, which is not a member of the IT Valley association, also wants to expand its number of staff. By the end of 2013 it plans to create almost 100 new jobs.

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