The HGK, the Ministry of Labor and the CES are launching a project to present the Croatian labor market on potential labor markets

By September 21, 129.038 work permits were issued to foreign citizens.


26. September 2023.

With the aim of improving, speeding up and simplifying procedures, the HGK, the Ministry of Labor and the CES are launching a project to present the Croatian labor market on potential labor markets.

In the market competition for workers, as a small open economy that enters the market decades after its competitors - large European countries, we have a less favorable position for competition and employers do not get a sufficient number of qualified workers, it was pointed out at the conference.Employment of foreign workers through agencies: needs, challenges, solutions" which took place in the organization of the HGK Chamber of Zagreb.

As a work destination, we must invest a lot of effort in positioning ourselves in the markets from which the workers come, said the president of HGK in the opening part of the conference. Luka Burilović.

"Since importing labor in this volume is new to us, we will have to adapt. We need to know which markets can offer us workers with specific knowledge. That is why the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, together with the Ministry of Labor and the Croatian Employment Service, is launching a project to present the Croatian labor market on potential labor markets.", Burilović said, emphasizing that the goal is to go beyond the borders and present itself to potential workers as a country that offers a high quality of life outside of working hours.

"The balance between work and private life for today's man is one of the most important factors when choosing employers; we can and must take advantage of that", said Burilović.

By September 21, 129.038 work permits were issued to foreign citizens.

For the sake of comparison, a record 124.121 permits were issued in the entire last year, which represented an increase of 51,5 percent compared to 2021 or even 279 percent compared to 2018.

In addition to the growing number of issued permits, the structure of foreign workers by nationality is also changing - traditional pools in the region have been emptied, and we are increasingly turning to distant Asian countries in search of foreign workers. Of the 10 countries from which most foreign workers come today, visas are issued for them from six countries, which slows down the time of their arrival in the Republic of Croatia.

The aforementioned movements consequently generated a sudden growth of employment agencies, both for mediation and for temporary employment, which according to the records of the Ministry of Labor almost 600, the president of the Chamber of Zagreb and adviser to the president of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce and Industry presented the information Josip Zaher.

"Croatia should be presented as an attractive destination and a new immigration strategy should be adopted with incentive measures for immigrants as well as an integration policy. Agencies should be strengthened on this path and, if necessary, additionally regulate their workZaher said.

Acceleration and simplification of the existing procedures for the import of labor force soon

In order to simplify the import of labor, legal solutions are gradually being liberalized, and amendments are being prepared, the purpose of which is to further speed up and simplify the existing procedures.

State Secretary in the MUP Žarko Katić stated that the proposed changes refer to the extension of the validity of residence and work permits - a general extension of the permit from one to three years, and seasonal work permits from the current six months to a maximum nine months.

"Also, the amendments to the Act provide for an easier change of employer in the same profession after a year - a new permit will not need to be requested, but the opinion of the CES, which is required to be given within five days. The changes also refer to the recognition of professional experience in the IT sector as a high professional qualification for the purposes of issuing the EU blue card, which would be carried out by the Commission at the HGK. Amendments to the Act are expected in the first quarter of 2024 at the latest.", announced Katic.

For the further development of the Croatian economy, it is necessary to provide quality and suitable workers from the domestic labor market, along with a flexible and efficient system of importing labor in deficit occupations, emphasized the State Secretary in the Ministry of Labour, Pension System, Family and Social Policy Ivan You see.

"Some of the goals are to prevent the abuse of the existing model of employment of foreigners (the Act on Suppression of Undeclared Work), to enable the effective issuance of residence and work permits for foreign workers in occupations that are lacking on the domestic labor market, and to establish cooperation with other countries through social security agreements and through agreements and protocols, in order to simplify labor mobility", said Vidis. 

He spoke about the Philippine model of migration management, which is globally known and which the International Labor Organization (ILO) points out as a positive example. Levinson C. Alcantara, assistant secretary in the Philippine Department of Migrant Workers.

The Ministry recruits and keeps records of workers who find jobs on foreign labor markets, it is also in charge of regulating the work of agencies, which need to renew their licenses every four years in order to be able to carry out the selection process when finding workers with adequate professional qualifications. Among other things, strict regulations stipulate that agencies have a high share capital and possess bank guarantees.

As part of the conference, a panel was held "Experiences from practice: where we are and where we are going?", which discussed the advantages and challenges faced by Croatian employers when recruiting through agencies. Most Croatian companies find workers from distant countries through agencies.

The experience he shared is interesting Sanjin Purić, president of the Management Board, GP Krk. Out of a total of 900 employees, about 400 of them are foreigners, mostly from BiH, but a significant number are also from distant countries. They employ foreign workers through domestic and foreign agencies, but he points out that the best workers are candidates recommended by existing workers.

Director of Human Resources in Maistra Tina Turk Lupieri, she stated that there is fluctuation with them of foreign workers is slightly higher, about 30 percent because it is about hiring seasonal workers, but it is also lower among foreign workers compared to local workers. One of the reasons may be the measure of assistance that Maistra offers to foreign employees from distant countries - it pays their travel expenses when they go on vacation or when they leave due to the expiration of their contracts.

Legislation should be adapted to the growing needs for foreign workers, and Croatia should be made an attractive destination for immigrants, it was concluded at the conference held in HGK.

Among other things, this implies the adoption of a new immigration strategy with incentive measures for foreign workers, an integration policy and a long-term designed approach to immigration policy and the consensus of all relevant political, economic and social actors in Croatia.

The conference was attended by ambassadors and diplomatic-consular representatives from ten countries from which the largest number of foreign workers have come to Croatia in recent years, from neighboring Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Albania and Kosovo to the distant Philippines, India and Bangladesh.

Photo / Source: HGK 


26. September 2023.