Switzerland seeks qualified Engineers, Technicians, and Financial Services Experts

Posted on 07 November 2007 by ThomasP

The number of job vacancies in Switzerland is well into the thousands – even with recruitment across the EU countries, finding qualified experts for the professional job vacancies has become problematic.

Not a week goes by without an alarming publication or article from some organization representing a particular sector of the Swiss economy.

A few days ago it was the turn of the mechanical engineering association to decry the severe lack of mechanical engineers on the Swiss and EU markets, creating a bottleneck in the Swiss labor market and braking growth in the high tech sector.

Every year, more than 1200 employees leave the industries’ companies and only 700 apprentices enter the field for training. In face of the severe lack of mechanical engineers, which underpin a variety of key, very profitable Swiss industries (like the luxury watch industry) the sector’s organizations started sounding the alarm a while back.

The situation is even more incomprehensible in view of the fact the sector is doing extremely well – the lack of ‘interest’ among students for this field baffles the sector’s analysts, reports the secretary general of the Groupement Suisse de l’Industrie Méchanique (GIM).

According to a recent survey by the GIM for the microtechnical and precision instruments branch, four out of ten companies have directors or upper level executives over 60 years old, which shows, according to the GIM, that a large number of mid-sized companies are doomed to disappear unless they find buyers within the next 10 years.

Informed estimates place the labor shortage in the mechanical engineering sector at roughly 10,000 persons.

Specifically, in the Watch Industry, the frenetic search for qualified professionals for jobs in the luxury watch brands has already depleted the neighboring European labor pool.

According to the Convention Patronale de L’industrie Horlogère

(CPIH), the job market is extremely tight. It’s reached a point that the CPIH has formed an alliance with Adecco to train 2200 young watch makers between now and 2010. The Swiss recruitment leader Adecco is prospecting among the Swiss Hautes Ecoles to find potential candidates who want to learn the trade.

The labor shortage goes well beyond highly qualified I.T. specialists, financial experts, scientists, or watch makers: according to Manpower, there is a terrible shortage of artisans, and construction workers, masons, carpenters, plumbers and electricians – to such a point that it is now difficult to find staff even extending one’s search across the EU.

The banking and financial sector are particularly badly hit by the shortage of qualified employees. The director of Genève Place Financière said that the Geneva banks created more than 2000 new jobs last year and nearly half of them went to foreigners. Financiers, economists, bankers…. The private banks as well as commercial banks, financial services organizations, trading companies, and others need more qualified staff to meet the demands of continued growth in their companies.

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