Pilot program will see 1,000 Indonesian tech students join Czech firms

To help address the shortage of skilled labor in Czechia, the government has struck a deal to get more young people and students into the country.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 20.06.2024 10:23:00 (updated on 20.06.2024) Reading time: 2 minutes

Czech firms are addressing the shortage of skilled labor by welcoming up to 1,000 students from Indonesian technical schools each year. The Industry and Trade Ministry announced Wednesday that the cabinet has approved a new program to provide these students with the necessary experience to support key industries in the Czech economy.

Beneficial to industry and the economy

According to Industry and Trade Minister Jozef Síkela, the project will focus on industries such as automotive, foundry, steel, and chemical manufacturing.

The program is designed for Czech companies with at least 500 employees who will employ selected Indonesian nationals for a two-year period. The companies will also provide workers with accommodation, training, a coordinator, and a translator.

Czechia implemented the pilot phase of this program in the second half of last year, with 300 Indonesian workers joining the Škoda Group's plant in Pilsen. These workers, aged 21 to 29, worked as welders, locksmiths, and electricians to support Europe's leading manufacturer of public transport vehicles.

The program is already proving beneficial for both the workers and the state. If the quotas are met, the state budget is expected to receive CZK 5 million per year in administrative fees, as each worker pays CZK 5,000 for their application at the Czech Embassy in Jakarta. This is notwithstanding the economic benefit of the workers. 

"The shortage of skilled labor is a pressing issue for our economy, and we are taking action to support our industries and companies in need of qualified employees," Síkela stated during a cabinet meeting in this week.

Part of a wider plan to attract foreigners

Czechia is currently experiencing a major worker shortage. In fact, Labor Minister Marian Jurečka said last year that Czechia lacks around 200,000 workers across all its industries. He underscored the critical need to recruit foreign workers to bridge this workforce gap, estimating that this would contribute an additional CZK 40 billion to the national budget. 

FEATURED EMPLOYERS

To alleviate this, Czechia has established multiple international agreements to tempt workers to the country. Just last month, the country abolished the need for people from 10 countries – including Australia, New Zealand, and Japan – to have work permits to gain employment in the country. 

Czechia has also created multiple initiatives with Asian countries, such as Taiwan and the Philippines, to help draw in more workers. It raised the maximum quota of workers from the latter country by 5,000 last year. The Labor Ministry also recently announced its plans to establish “close cooperation with local institutions” in Spain and Portugal to tempt workers from southern Europe to Czechia. 

From this year, citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldova, Georgia, and North Macedonia are also eligible for special work visas to help fill needed jobs in Czech agriculture.

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