Upturn on labour market in Bulgaria

The Bulgarian labour market is gradually picking up, reports the National Employment Agency. During the current year 2013, over 178 thousand people have started a new job. The sheer number of workers who have acquired their jobs thanks to an employment program of the Agency has climbed by twenty thousand in comparison with the previous year.

35 psychologists and qualified managers have already been assigned in the job centres of all regional cities. They have the responsibility to professionally assist the job-seekers with overcoming their psychological barriers and gaining more self-confidence. Kamelia Nikolova, one of the psychologists at the employment office explained: “Most of the people who come to us are insecure and frustrated. Very often they have even lost their hope of ever finding a job”.

The currently employed psychologists and managers were initially registered as unemployed themselves. For this reason, they should be considered as an example of how the shortage of vacancies can be overcome, of course, not without the necessary motivation and support. To the measures undertaken by the Ministry of Labour and Social policy belongs also the Program for activation of unemployed with an yearly budget of 600 thousand Leva. However, the labour market still has to face the challenge to provide adequate working positions for qualified young people. This involves a long-term strategic planning, as well as a much stronger cooperation between companies and educational institutions.

A specific action aimed at such a result is the Ministry of Education Program for student internships, which strives to create a symbiosis between universities and business. Meanwhile, it was announced that the most desired occupations for the current year would be those of accountants, system administrators and sales representatives. This show the results of a survey carried out by the consulting companies CareerBuilder and Economic Modeling Specialists Intl. (EMSI).

OECD criticizes Germany over low high-skilled immigration rate

The publication of an OECD report on the immigration of foreign workers to the German labor market has prompted keen media interest over the last few days.

After we reported only last week about the lack of sufficient interest of German IT companies to searching for qualified staff abroad, we are now presenting a comprehensive economical study of the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development).

The study describes that the access to the German labor market as relatively easy (compared to other OECD member countries). Yet numbers suggest that in Germany, in spite of the alleged shortage of skilled workers, the market share of labor migrants from outside the EU and the European Free Trade Area (EFTA) accounts for a fifth and even tenth of the share of other studied countries such as Australia, Denmark, Canada and the United Kingdom.

SMEs account for considerable difficulties with migrant workers

The situation with Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) could be described as problematic. These types of businesses often encounter serious difficulties in finding suitable staff from abroad, which is apparent from the graph illustrating the results of the surveyed companies. .

Indeed, the shortage of skill workers is far more common in SMEs than in larger firms,

In contrast to big companies, SMEs have no international intercompany personnel exchange to facilitate recruitment of expat employees.Therefore the report recommends employers – especially SMEs – put more effort into looking for qualified personnel aboard if they cannot meet their need for skilled workers on the local labor market, the OECD says.

One of the many explanations of the problematic situation is that both at home and aboard the German immigration system is perceived as restrictive and difficult to access, argues the OECD report.

OECD recommends coining of an immigration strategy

Yves Leterme, Deputy Secretary-General of the OECD, advised for a consistent immigration policy during the presentation of the study on 4 February 2013 in Berlin. Without such an approach, meeting the projected shortage of skilled workers would be difficult: ‘The prosperity of Germany is largely dependent on whether it will be able to stay competitive despite its aging population.’

Read the full OEDC study ‘Immigration of foreign workers: Germany’ by clicking on the PDF thumb below.

German IT companies barely looking for staff abroad

Over the last two years at least one in five German IT companies has had to refuse a client request owing to lack or shortage of qualified personnel. In spite of this, few companies have considered the opportunity for looking for qualified IT staff abroad: a total of 85% of the IT firms that participated in a survey of the situation of the job market conducted by Monster.de and CeBIT said that they have neither hired staff from abroad, nor have ever considered it as an option. Some 200 German IT-companies took part in the study presented by the Personalwirtschaft journal in a recent publication which outlines its main findings.

The article refers to the study’s conclusions that companies are calling for simplification of the processes for recognition of foreign university degrees. Another issue that firms have unanimously pointed out is easing the conditions for entering and staying in Germany.

Germany’s IT industry could be left out of the global ‘War for Talents’

The situation with German IT companies active in the field of employer branding is slightly different. According to the survey, some 64% of these companies are willing to attract more applicants (and to set incentives for their core workforce to stay with the company) through increasing salaries. Some 69% of the firms have stated readiness to boost the employment appeal of their jobs in order to attract new personnel.

Flexible recruitment called for

Long-term success could be guaranteed only through combining several employment channels. In addition to increasing their attractiveness as an employer or in developing an employer brand, in 2013 the firms in the German IT sector should start actively searching for and contracting expatriate staff. This would not only lead to filling in vacancies, but also to stabilizing labor costs, since the wage expectations of foreign applicants are usually lower than those of their German counterparts.

Number of Bulgarians working in Germany increasing

The number of Bulgarians who apply for a social insurance in Germany is constantly growing. As recent figures of the Federal Employment Agency show, in 2012 the number of Bulgarian working in Germany stroke a new record at 25 840.

German labour market – very popular

Since 2000, the employment in Germany has been registering annual increases. What is striking is the rapid rate of increase of the Bulgarians in Germany particularly in the years 2010-2012. During this period, the number of Bulgarians who make their living in Germany grew by about 5000 people annually. This can be explained by the poor economic situation in Bulgaria that until about 2008 experienced a genuine economic boom. The quick recovery of the German economy after the crisis and the ensuing demand for working force may have also contributed to the growth of Bulgarian immigration.

Zahl der Bulgaren, die in Deutschland arbeiten.
How many Bulgarians are working in Germany? The graph shows a constant increase from 2000  to 2012.

The trend is expected to continue in 2013 – 2014

The rising Bulgarian workforce flow to Germany is expected to continue in 2013, although the weaker German labour market could curb the rate of increase. As for 2014, when regardless of the economic development of Europe the transitional restrictions for Bulgarians are due to fall off, the dynamics of the immigration inflow to Germany is certain to gain momentum. Therefore, the number of Bulgarians seeking employment in Germany is expected to reach record–high levels over the coming years.

In 2013 Balkaninvest HR consultancy will continue to support this workflow dynamics so as to adjust it to the needs of German employers and to assist them with professional services.

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