More Jobs in the Jura

Posted on 11 July 2007 by Papessa

The Geneva-based luxury brand Franck Muller will be investing $30,000,000 in expanding its operations into the Jura area. The luxury watchmaker has just acquired an immense parcel of land on which to build a new production facility.

The new manufacturing center will immediately create between 150 – 200 new jobs in the different fields of watchmaking. It’s not clear where they will find the new employees.

The luxury watch industry is already suffering from a shortage of qualified professionals and the luxury brands have been raiding their competitors’ personnel for several years now. New recruiting agencies and specialized websites now concentrate on the luxury industry, finding qualified personnel for the dozens of Swiss-based big brands and charging large fees.

The Jura cantonal government is nonetheless very happy about the new plant in the Franches-Montagnes region, since the move will lend further weight to the region through its addition of more jobs; Franck Muller reportedly acquired more than 23,000 square meters and will spend the next 3 years on the project, hiring roughly 100 employees to start and another hundred at a later stage.

The Minister of the Economy of the Canton of Jura, Michel Probst, indicated that the arrival of the prestigious Geneva brand was a welcome new investment in the Jura economy.

The Jura was interested enough in luring Franck Muller that the canton sold the land for CHF 20 / square meter, which was the Commune’s purchase price.

Franck Muller already employs roughly 100 people in the Bois through two companies it owns: Arnold Linder and Sons which manufactures watch dials, and Rodolphe Montres et Bijoux.

The construction of still another luxury watchmaking plant in the Jura and the resulting pressure on the labor market will create new opportunities for work in Switzerland for qualified foreign nationals.

Swiss employers who wish to hire nationals from outside the EC must prove they sought personnel locally first and failed to find them. However in fields such as watchmaking –as with financial sector and pharmaceutical sector skillsets—companies usually have little trouble obtaining a work permit for whomever they wish to hire.
The workforce of the watchmaking sector is already more than 30% foreigners and the percentage is set to grow substantially.

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