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Austrian employers woo refugees amid labour shortage

Austrian employers woo refugees amid labour shortage

Austria faced pressing labour shortages but employers were out to attract refugees at a special jobs fair last week, The Local Austria reported.

Since 2015 when Austria and other EU countries have had to welcome a giant wave of migrants from North Africa and Middle East, it is time to refresh the labour market with the newcomers. According to the experts, Sebastian Kurz and Austria’s right-wing government might defend tough anti-immigration policies. However, the lion share of migrants re totally happy with the social package and they have no additional moves to improve their qualification and to hunt the job.

In 2019, Austria demonstrates an urgent need for more labour in almost every sector, from manufacturing to tourism. The government-sponsored event in Vienna attracted bosses from virtually all of country’s leading employers like the national railway OeBB, construction corporation Porr, the postal service and Telekom Austria.

The job event aimed to help Austrian firms deal with a chronic labour shortage. In a country of 8.7 million people there are now around 160,000 job vacancies, with unemployment expected to fall to 4.6 percent this year from 4.9 percent in 2018. All agreed that a good level of German was essential to success in the job market.

About 1,200 refugees,  Syrians and Afghans, were selected by Austria’s public employment service AMS to arrive at that event. They came to Austria during the 2015 migrant crisis, and four years after, a country needs their assistance, too. Their potential is enormous, however, 30,000 refugees are unemployed, a third of whom are less than 25 years old.

Austria hopes to cope with a chronic labour shortage

That was borne out by the number of jobs on offer at the fair, including 500 at OeBB, 400 at the Hofer supermarket chain, 350 at German retail co-operative Rewe and 200 at facilities management company Simacek.

While many of the jobs on offer were fairly low-paid, the range of opportunities was wider than it might appear said Gerhard Zummer from German engineering giant Siemens.

According to the employers, the important thing for them is to attract good candidates. Whether they’re refugees or not isn’t important, an employer looks at their skills and then it can train them internally. Training and education always were an integral part of any qualification’s improvement.