The government in January agreed to double the number of Ukrainians it would allow in as fast-track migrant workers to nearly 20,000 per year, in a bid to help address the chronic labour shortage, which has companies in the export-driven economy struggling to fill orders. According to Czech Chamber of Commerce, the fast-track scheme is a drop in the proverbial bucket – but still paying dividends.
A greater percentage of migrants born outside the European Union have found
work in the Czech Republic than in the other 27 EU member states, data
released on Monday by Eurostat show.
In 2017, the employment rate of persons in the EU aged 20-64 years ranged from 63.0 per cent among migrants born outside the EU, through 73.0 per cent among the native-born population, to 75.4 per cent recorded for migrants born in a different EU member state.
For migrants born outside the EU, the employment rate was highest in the Czech Republic, at 79.4 per cent, followed by Romania, at 76.3 per cent, Portugal, at 74.5 per cent, and Poland, at 73.0 per cent, according to Eurostat.
At 2.9 percent, the Czech unemployment rate is the lowest in 22 years, and in particular graduates have never had it easier finding work. According to labour office statistics there are currently ten vacancies per graduate, a state of affairs that is attracting young people from Greece, Italy or Spain to the Czech Republic.
In response to numerous complaints with regard to abuse of the Czech visa system in Ukraine, the Czech consulate in Lvov has moved to simplify and speed up the process. Steps have been taken to root out corruption by local middlemen who blocked the registration system, making it virtually impossible for anyone else to sign up for months. Applicants will now be able to book by phone, eliminating the long waiting lines outside the consulate and the waiting time for a visa should be reduced from 130 days to 75.
The government on Wednesday approved an amendment to the law on foreigners
that would make it mandatory for people who seek long-term residence permit
in the Czech Republic for the purpose of employment to take part in
Foreigners should complete the course within a year of their arrival in the country. The amendment still needs to be approved by parliament.
The number of applications for long-term residence permits in the Czech Republic for the purpose of employment has increased from 3,000 in 2014 to over 13,000 last year. According to deputy Prime Minister Richard Brabec, integration courses could help mainly foreign students and scientists who want to work in the Czech Republic.
The Czech Republic has the lowest jobless rate in the European Union with vacancies now outstripping the registered unemployed. But moves to attract workers from Ukraine are being hampered by red tape. That sparked a lightning visit last week by the Czech labour minister and a raft of reforms are now promised.
The Czech Republic will seek to bring around 2,000 Ukrainian care-givers to
the Czech Republic under a special project, the Minister of Labour and
Social Affairs Jaroslava Němcová told journalists on Monday.
Social services in the Czech Republic have been struggling to deal with a lack of caregivers in old-age homes and institutions for disabled people. Němcová said other areas of the economy would also benefit from facilitating the process of issuing work permits for Ukrainians willing to fill the growing number of vacancies on the job market.
There are currently over 374,000 foreigners working in the country, of those 70,000 are Ukrainian nationals.