Sunday, August 19, 2007

Immigration only short-term solution to labour shortage

Commentator Lubos Palata wrote in Lidove Noviny Thursday that the Czech Republic's shortage of qualified workers can be made up for by "imports from abroad" in the short term only. He is evidently write, since basically the supplies of such immigrants will soon run out (and here). He would also do well to consider that if you want a domestic labour supply you need children, so doing something about the low fertility problem, and more to help working mums, should definitely be a number one priority.

Immigration only short-term solution to labour shortage

By ČTK / Published 17 August 2007
Prague, Aug 16 (CTK) - The Czech Republic's shortage of qualified workers can be made up for by "imports from abroad" in the short term only, commentator Lubos Palata writes in Lidove noviny Thursday.

He is commenting on politicians' effort to fill the growing number of empty jobs with immigrants and guest workers.

He says that if the country remained open to the import of a cheap workforce from the East, it would become even more attractive for foreign investors, and it could become Europe's largest assembly hall of cars, computers, LDD displays and many other things in a few years.

"The combination of a person who works for the east European wage and central European infrastructure, complete with the EU market and Brussels-guaranteed investment certainties, is an irresistible attraction," Palata writes.

He writes that foreigners have brought many positive things to the Czech Lands throughout history. The truth is that almost all Czech towns were founded by German settlers, Palata writes

"But never has 'the import of a cheap workforce' from less developed countries been a long-term positive step," Palata writes.

He says that "the Czech workforce should not be cheap, but expensive, qualified and of good quality."

Palata writes that the import of foreign workforce may not result in the revival of the Czech Lands as an industrial power of central Europe but in the definitive liquidation of the heritage that has survived in the country since the times of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, of which the Czech Lands were part.

He writes that the massive import of a cheap workforce from Ukraine or Moldova will further lower the already low motivation to develop a quality technical education.

"The cheap workforce that is imported en masse and with state support destroys the job market...Investors who build a plant here and then find out that no one will work for them at the assembly line for 15,000 crowns, should pack up and leave, and not import with state support Ukrainians who are ready to work even for the money offered," Palata writes.

He writes that the Czech Republic should be sufficiently self-conscious and say that the reputation of a country with a cheap workforce is no longer enough for it.

The country must follow a path that leads "via universities, research institutes, good-quality and effective work, able managers, and politicians, if not statesmen who think about the future," Palata writes.

The Czech Republic should not be a country where there is work for every "cheap foreigner," but a state where it will be an honour for a foreigner to get a job, Palata writes.

No comments: