The Hungarian labor market lacks about 100,000 workers!

Thanks to a government decree, since July last year, workers from already eleven non-EU countries can come to work in Hungary under simplified conditions. The corresponding provision should be maintained after the end of the pandemic emergency, because in order to retain Hungarian jobs, maintain the rate of investment and the operation of production companies, workers arriving from third countries in a regulated framework are necessary – as it was said at the professional event on the shortage of skilled labor and the employment of foreign workers, organized jointly by WHC Group and the German-Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DUIHK).

Employment in Hungary is close to 4.7 million people, which equates to a rate of almost 74%. At the same time, the unemployment rate fell to a historic low of 3.5%. One of the most crucial problems of the Hungarian economy has been the lack of skilled labor for years. There has been some reorganization of the labor market during the coronavirus epidemic: some sectors, such as hospitality and tourism, have stagnated and workers have migrated to other sectors, thus temporarily reducing labor shortages. work. However, at the start of 2021, the labor market situation had almost returned to pre-pandemic levels, the labor shortage reappeared, which was then aggravated by the war in Ukraine which broke out in February. of this year.

“Since 2014, Ukrainian workers can come to work in Hungary under simplified conditions, as the inhibiting effect of the labor shortage on economic growth was already felt in several areas. Hungarian companies, especially production companies, have taken advantage of this opportunity, as there are now around 54,000 Ukrainian employees working in Hungary.

However, due to the war, this source of labor has become vulnerable and precarious, so there is an economic need for other non-European workers to be able to obtain jobs in Hungary under simplified conditions,” caught the eye Péter Berta, CEO of the WHC Group at the event.

Photo: press release/influencer media

At the workshop organized primarily for member companies of the German-Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Barbara Zollmann, DUIHK Board Member stressed in his welcome speech, that the shortage of skilled labor is present in all segments, is a lasting challenge and has a significant impact on the daily functioning of companies. This is why DUIHK itself has launched several initiatives to alleviate the problems with the supply of professionals – for example, they have introduced a dual vocational training system in several of their member companies, based on the German model.

Representing the corporate side, Ákos Kalmár, National Director of Human Resources of the Continental Group, also participated in the event. He explained that at first, Continental recruited labor from Ukraine to Hungary in 2017, also relying on the WHC group, then soon after they also started employing workers arriving from the Philippines, in some respects, as a pioneer in our country.

“When we recruited Filipino workers four years ago, we took advantage of our global organization because at that time Continental decided to close its Manila plant.

In the first phase of a pilot project, we took on 30 employees from the local colleagues who worked there. We started this process in order to protect Hungarian jobs, because due to the already tangible national labor shortage at the time, it would have been difficult for our Hungarian production units to meet customer needs without workers. from third countries. It must be recognized that this is also in the fundamental interest of Hungarian employees, because a production company can only operate successfully in Hungary if its capacity is adequate, now this can only be achieved with foreign employees”, added Akos Kalmar.

Photo: press release/influencer media

The hiring of foreigners must be carefully prepared

At the professional workshop of WHC Group and DUIHKit was stated that the Hungarian government plans to maintain the provision, largely unchanged, which, in addition to Ukraine and Serbia, allows the employment of workers from nine other non-EU countries (from Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Philippines, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Montenegro and Vietnam) under simplified conditions, even after the end of the coronavirus emergency.

“The solution to the Hungarian labor shortage is multifactorial. Although there are still reserves in the Hungarian labor market, which can be exploited, among other things, by integrating young people and certain social groups, the employment of foreign labor will be necessary to protect Hungarian jobs. If a company is considering such a solution, we recommend starting as soon as possible, since, in addition to obtaining a situational advantage, it is necessary to prepare well for the arrival of foreign workers in time – perhaps this is- it to overcome language barriers or sensitization of Hungarian colleagues. It is important to note that the entire recruitment process, from application to a worker from a third country being able to work for a national company, can take up to 10 to 13 weeks,” adds Peter Berta.

The WHC Group was the first in Hungary to obtain the status of certified employer, thanks to which the company has the possibility of lending labor to national companies of the countries listed above. The certification offers a reliable guarantee both to foreign employees and to the companies that use the service, since certified employers must meet a set of strict criteria defined by law. The company will focus on the Philippines, Indonesia, Kazakhstan and Mongolia in the first phase of the opening. The first Mongol contingent arrived in Hungary with their help in May.

Dr. Viktória Zöld-Nagy, Deputy State Secretary of the Ministry of Innovation and Technologyand Zsolt Hrovatin, head of the department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Tradealso made presentations at the professional event of WHC and DUIHK group.

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Source: Press Release/Influencer Media

Laura T. Thrasher