Switzerland’s engineering industry has a shortage of 17,000 skilled workers each year. This shortage is compounded by the new changes in policy that Switzerland has imposed on the EU economic migrants. By capping the number of engineering skilled workers entering its country, Switzerland is now facing a severe shortage of professionals.
But steps are being taken to fill these gaps. The engineering industry in particular, is looking to hire young people, older and experienced employees to fill its inadequacy. It is also offering lucrative working conditions such as, job sharing and telecommuting to attract workers.
Many in the immigration industry feel that Switzerland’s immigration policy, an ageing workforce, steep decline in birth rates have added a new dimension to the shortage of skilled workers. With the emergence of China and India as powerhouses of new technology, the shortage of skilled workers looms over developed nations.
The referendum conducted by Switzerland in February voiced an overwhelming 50.3%, in favor of strict quota system for non-EU nationals. This has dampened the freedom of movement agreement made between EU and Switzerland. Although Switzerland is not a part of EU it follows many trade practices that are common with the EU countries. As a result over the next 5 years Swissmern (which represents the country’s engineering and mechanical industries) has to recruit over 17000 new workers every year!
This change in quota system has brought about repercussions in the attitude of people opting for jobs in Switzerland. Gero Knufer, a senior manager at Hays says, ‘The engineering market is fairly complex and when a company is looking for a new candidate, it is not uncommon for employers to consider candidates from outside of Switzerland in order to find an individual that meets the clients’ requirements. As a result of the changes, some candidates feel insecure about moving to Switzerland because they are not sure what to expect.”
Tom O’Loughlin, manager of Nicoll Curtin’s Swiss office, said,’ With the unemployment rate being so low in Switzerland, we always find it difficult to find highly skilled technical people who are currently based in Switzerland. A strict [immigration] quota might make it even more difficult to secure them in the future.”
Keith Cochrain CEO of Weir Group opines, ’At the moment, Europe and the US are facing significant skills shortages in areas like engineering. From an engineering perspective, I’ve been re-thinking the way we educate our young people. In the UK, 830,000 new engineers are needed each year to replace workers entering retirement… and more than two-third of skilled workers are set to retire in the next decade. This is a real competitiveness issue in a situation where the global economy needs premium technological innovations. To address the issue, Cochrain added, countries must demonstrate to their children the benefits of engineering from a very young age — introducing the concept during their teenage years would already be too late. To address the issue, Cochrain added, countries must demonstrate to their children the benefits of engineering from a very young age — introducing the concept during their teenage years would already be too late. Germany offers an “excellent example” as to how its education system supports this competitive advantage by producing a highly productive workforce. The German education system allows a high level of employers’ involvement in creating educational policies that better align with demands of industry.
News Source: Jakarta Globe, Recruiter
Image source- Seasonal Jobs 365
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