Due to a shortage of skilled workers, the business association wants more workers from the Balkans

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Due to a shortage of skilled workers, the business association wants more workers from the Balkans

Due to the increasing shortage of skilled workers, Kurt Egger, Secretary General of the Economic Association, is now campaigning for free access to the labor market for residents of Balkan EU accession countries. He will submit a corresponding proposal to the Economic Parliament on Thursday.

According to the Economic Association, demand for employees already regularly exceeds supply, and the legal framework must therefore be further optimized. Although the red-white-red card is a good tool for targeted recruitment of skilled workers, international competition for the best minds is already in full swing. According to the Economic Association, Austria must therefore be attractive as a destination for labor migration.

Austria should therefore allow free access to the labor market for people from EU accession countries from the Balkan region. This would allow immigration from these countries to proceed unbureaucratically and independently of quotas. This would make the Austrian labor market more attractive for workers and companies would be able to easily and quickly obtain urgently needed personnel.

Kurt Egger, Secretary General of the Economic Association: “Free access to the labor market for EU accession countries from the Balkans is a decisive step in solving the acute labor shortage in Austria. The tourism sector in particular, which is severely affected by the lack of qualified personnel, is expected to benefit from this move. Through the targeted immigration of qualified workers, we not only create greater economic stability, but also attractive employment opportunities that our companies urgently need.”

Three of the five largest immigration countries are in the Balkans
The EU also recently decided to provide more financial support to the Western Balkan countries as they move closer to the Union. Moreover, according to the Economic Association, three of the five largest immigration countries in Austria are already in the Balkan region. For example, Bosnians most often use the red-white-red card.

Germany expands the Western Balkans contingent to 50,000 people
In Germany, where there is also an urgent need for skilled workers, the so-called Western Balkans contingent already exists, which offers workers the opportunity to move in if a job offer is offered. The Western Balkans Regulation gives nationals from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia access to the labor market. According to the Economic Association, this scheme is intensively used by employers in Germany. Therefore, the original deadline for the Western Balkans quota has been lifted in June 2024 and the quota has even been increased from 25,000 to 50,000 people per year.

However, the Economic Association is not demanding a quota for Austria, but rather access to the domestic labor market through a simplified red-white-red card procedure. On Thursday he called on the Chamber of Commerce in the Economic Parliament to lobby the responsible political bodies to facilitate qualified immigration from third countries, especially from the Balkans.

Source: Krone

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