May 27, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

The government is looking for a solution "great problem" labor shortage

At a time when labor shortages and the difficulty of finding suitable personnel for business are reaching plague proportions, the government is increasing the number of workers by 32,500 people and is preparing a bill that will speed up the procedures for granting legal permits to legal migrants.

A new joint ministerial decision is expected within a few days regarding approximately 32,500 more workers arriving from third countries. This is in addition to the corresponding decision made in April last year. At that time, 167,925 jobs were approved for two years (2023–2024). Now that the bill is being updated, the total number of foreign workers will reach 200,425. The workers will come mainly from the Philippines, India, Bangladesh and Egypt.

Of the 32,500 new transfers, almost 10,700 are in the Attica region alone, indicating that there are vacancies that have been identified and need to be filled. At the industry level, the most problems were identified in construction, seasonal employment (tourism), catering, and domestic help.

According to the latest decision of the ministry for the period 2023-2024, 147,925 workers have been redistributed from third countries. Moreover, the vast majority of them are employed in the primary sector (113,467 people). The total number of requests reached 379,165, and requests for the primary sector reached 246,215.

The change in legislation planned by the Ministry of Immigration is aimed at reducing waiting times for immigrants, who currently have to wait up to three years for a residence permit renewal, while the asylum procedure is completed in several months. And this will be achieved through the modernization of the administrative mechanism of legal immigration, by digitizing the necessary actions, as well as with the help of new biometric information centers.

Eight out of ten employers say they struggle to find suitable staff, with this figure rising to 87% in large companies.

According to a Manpower Group survey, in the first quarter of this year, 82% of employers reported difficulties finding specialists, while in 2023 the corresponding percentage was 77%. In fact, companies are focused on increasing wages in order to attract potential employees and find suitable personnel. 75% of Greek businesses offer small increases (1%-5%), while technology companies say they are looking for new employees but are stumbling over the high financial expectations placed on them by candidates.

Indicative of the situation on the labor market is the fact that potential employees “prefer” unemployment to the reduction in wages offered to them. As a result, Greek companies are largely unable to find competent managers because they consider the salary requirements of job seekers to be “unrealistic”.

However, in the corresponding survey, which recorded the readiness of 75% of companies increase wages, amounts from 1% to 5% were mentioned, while only 4% of companies plan an increase of more than 16%.

The IT and technology sector also faces high demand for new employees, as well as difficulties in finding personnel due to high salary expectations of hired candidates. Young tech job seekers have high salary expectations (78%), while 77% of tech workers are choosing to leave their current job for higher pay or better working conditions.

Companies in the technology sector are showing a steady trend of sales and turnover growth. Despite this, they face significant difficulties in attracting suitable employees, mainly due to the high salary expectations of candidates (78%).

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