As the Czech trade and industry minister, I consider an effective, targeted and selective migration policy as a crucial economic tool which contributes to raising investment, foreign trade, and our economy’s enduring competitiveness. To this end, working with the foreign affairs, interior, and labour and social affairs ministries, my ministry is helping to build several projects to support the migration of select target groups within “third party” countries (meaning non-EU nations; the EU list includes Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) – it is eminently in Czech interests to bring these workers here.
Who are they exactly? In my eyes they are those foreigners who bring talent, unique skills and also investment, namely workers who deliver significant “value-added” via skills spanning various fields of economic endeavour; skills that we need and would readily and willingly utilise. Such workers also offer us the chance to learn new professional processes and work methods. Such migrants represent a large spectrum of professions. They are highly qualified with specific skills, including managerial experience, and also the mid-level qualified, primarily in the technical professions, which over the long term the Czech labour market alone cannot provide.
„Work is under way to implement numerous projects related to ensuring proper, effective economic migration“
Work is under way to implement numerous projects related to ensuring proper, effective economic migration. Qualified foreign workers’ access to our labour market should be increased, eased and made more attractive. As one example, this July, the government approved the “Special Status for Qualified Workers from Ukraine” proposal. It enables up to 5,000 job seekers a year to benefit from faster work permit application processing at the Czech embassy in Kiev and the General Consulate in Lviv. It is chiefly very good news for manufacturing firms seeking a range of specialist workers across fields including welding and CNC machine programming.
I am very pleased such economic migration projects are enabling effective utilisation of the potential of highly skilled, educated foreign labourers, further developing human working potential here. This category of foreigners brings clear and undeniable gains. As economically active individuals they assist productivity, push up our firms’ export potential and even assist technological advancement.
Which is why my ministry will continue to actively analyse and monitor the potential benefits brought by skilled migrants, and is pushing for a responsive, adjustable system catering to firms and foreign investors’ needs.
The author is the Czech trade and industry minister