Again and again we hear that there is a shortage of skilled workers in lots of EU countries. And this is indeed the case very acutely in some sectors. This is easy to understand with a simple calculation. It is becoming apparent that EU companies can no longer cover their needs with the local population alone. Therefore, they have to look abroad. But how do you do that as a small company that does not have a huge network of branches in other countries? We show some examples of how you can do it.
Why is there a shortage of skilled workers?
Simple thing: Let’s assume that 10 computer scientists or engineers retire every day. Then the next day there are only 6 or 7 equivalent young people. On the one hand, because the birth rate has been too low for decades, there are too few of them. On the other hand, because the corresponding courses of study are considered particularly difficult and demanding. As a result, the universities did not “produce” enough young people over several generations.
Now things are a little better. More young people have realised that IT jobs pay a lot of money. In addition, more and more female students are getting enthusiastic about STEM subjects. That means a little more skilled workers are coming in. But in the same time, the world has developed in such a way that the demand in these categories has grown disproportionately. All devices are becoming smart, microelectronics and IT are everywhere. Trade and business are moving to the web. All this has to be programmed and supported. There are shortages everywhere.
In addition, you have to consider that many knowledge workers are also emigrating from EU. They go to countries where the climate is better because their job allows them to work independently of location. Or also because of the money. Switzerland, England or the USA – for IT professionals, these are definitely countries where you can make a bit more money.
What is the consequence? Many companies in this country do not fill some positions. As a result, they make less turnover than they actually could. For society, this means that our gross domestic product is not as high as it could be. Our prosperity falls short of what is possible.
Conclusion: With the supply of local skilled workers, the available work simply cannot be done. Therefore, migrants will have to do the job. But how do you get skilled workers from abroad?
Getting skilled workers from abroad – how does that work?
For one thing, there is the option of looking around within the EU. There are numerous agencies that specialise in the procurement of foreign skilled workers from the Single Economic Area. They take care of the placement of IT professionals from countries like Spain. This is possible without any problems. After all, there is a free movement agreement within the EU, so employees can take up their jobs virtually from one day to the next.
Then there is the option of hiring workers from third countries. With them it is a little more complicated. In Europe, the EU parliament opened up the labour market a long time ago for skilled workers from technological sectors. This means that computer scientists from India, Brazil or Australia – from any country in the world – are allowed to come here. The so-called Blue Card is then issued for this purpose. These conditions must be met:
- A concrete job offer must be made to the candidates. In this case, the Federal Agency receives the potential employment contract, for example.
- The job must match the applicant’s university degree.
- It must currently (as of 2022) pay a salary of at least 56,4000 euros. For specialists in IT or medicine, it is even enough if it is 43,992 euros.
If all this fits, then you can bring in employees from third countries. There are also recruitment agencies abroad for this purpose. Alternatively, you can easily place advertisements in certain countries from your location. There will probably be enough people applying this way.