Czech businesses are still struggling to find workers, the news site Ihned.cz reports. In August, labour offices in the Czech Republic posted more than 350,000 vacancies, which is the highest figure in the country’s history, the website wrote. The biggest demand is for construction workers, warehousemen, or truck drivers.
According to Ihned.cz, the shortage of labour is even higher than indicated by the newly released data. Many companies in search of more qualified employees do not even bother to approach labour offices, since they don’t expect they could help them, the daily writes. According to the estimates of the Czech Chamber of Commerce, which represents over 16,000 entrepreneurs in the Czech Republic, companies are currently lacking around half a million people.
“The slow-down of the economy has not had an impact on the labour market,” Monika Junicke, an economist at Komerční banka, told the website.
“Even though employment figures in industrial production have been decreasing since the start of the year, construction and services still report a lack of employees” she added. The month of August saw 204,000 people seeking employment, which is the lowest figure since 1996.
Czech companies are looking mainly for less qualified employees. More than two thirds of the jobs posted by the Czech labour office at the moment require only a basic education. University education is required only by around 7,000 job averts, which is around two percent of all job vacancies.
The record labour shortage is forcing companies to change their strategies of recruiting new employees. A growing number of companies are turning their employees into head-hunters, promising rewards of up to tens of thousands of crowns for bringing in new workers. People recruited through their acquaintances turn to be better qualified and more loyal, the website Ihned.cz writes.
Many companies deal with the shortage of labour by bringing workers from abroad, mainly from Ukraine. According data from the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, there were some 121,000 Ukrainians working in the Czech Republic at the end of last year.
As of November, the annual quota for Ukrainian workers should increase twofold, allowing 40,000 Ukrainians to come to the Czech Republic annually in search of labour.
There are currently three government programmes for recruiting foreign workers operating in the Czech Republic, whose agenda is divided according to the people’s qualification.
While the first two programmes target researchers and highly qualified workers, the third programme helps Czech companies seeking less qualified labour, including shop assistants, skilled workers and machine operators.
Apart from Ukrainian workers, they can also use the programme to seek employees from India, Serbia, Philippines, Montenegro or Kazakhstan.
The long-term shortage of labour is also pushing up wages. In the second quarter of this year, the average gross monthly wage in the Czech Republic increased by 7.2 percent to 34,105 crowns. Bank and insurance companies employees enjoy the highest average monthly salaries of 64,000 crowns.