More immigration needed to help stave off Swiss worker shortage …

Of note:

“For Switzerland, it will likely become more difficult in the future to recruit [from] abroad,” said Hendrik Budliger, head of independent demographics firm Demografik in Basel. Behind this trend, he added, are an immigration level that is set to decline from 2026 and a coming wave of retirement of baby-boomer workers.

The current worker shortage is being felt across various sectors, including in the hospitality industry. Over 60% of hotels in Switzerland are unable to recruit enough staff, according to a survey by Gastrosuisse, the umbrella organisation for hotels and restaurants. With overnight stays climbing steadily, the number of unfilled full-time positions in this service sector has risen to record levels, SonntagsBlick reportsExternal link: from 2,000 in 2015 to a current total of 8,500 vacant positions.

Having exhausted possibilities to recruit locally, businesses are looking to neighbouring countries. But in Europe the number of people of working age is falling by almost three million per year, calculations by Demografik show.

“If the [Swiss] economy continues to grow at the same rate as it has in the last 20 years, there will be a shortage of around 1.3 million skilled workers in 2050,” Marco Salvi of the think tank Avenir Suisse told the newspaper. “Because skilled workers are also becoming scarce in Europe, Switzerland must increase labour migration from third countries.”

Why Switzerland needs workers from abroad

Switzerland is an attractive place to work and the country needs specialists. But work permits can be hard to come by.

Members of the hospitality industry associations have been pushing for a similar approach. Talk in Bern, however, seems to be headed in the opposite direction, with the right-wing Swiss People’s Party again putting into question the free movement of persons with the European Union. This summer the party plans to launch a “sustainability” initiative to limit population growth and migration to Switzerland.

Source: More immigration needed to help stave off Swiss worker shortage …

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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