Categorized | Economy, Employers, Miscellaneous

Swiss Brain Deficit – Jobs in Switzerland

Posted on 13 November 2007 by ThomasP

According to leading economists and academics, the labor market is close to drying up and an influx of foreign workers will be necessary to mitigate the shortage of highly qualified professionals in Switzerland.

Professor Yves Fluckiger of the Employment Observatory spoke about the shortage of talent for the number of jobs in Switzerland at a conference yesterday in Lausanne, during which he highlighted the problem and proposed a variety of solutions.

The main sectors affected by the shortage of professionals are banking, finance, manual trades, and medicine, as well as several branches of I.T and telecoms. The situation has created an unusual number of job vacancies in Switzerland.

To understand the problem, one needs to analyze the supply and demand on the market as well as salary levels.

Over the past 10 years the evolution of demand from companies and employers has largely been determined by the economic climate and

by specialization of the economy, particularly in the tertiary sector. Switzerland has to a large extent opened up its job market to recruit qualified personnel for employment in Switzerland and the bilateral agreements with the European Union have created a certain migratory influx. Still, this has not been sufficient to meet the demand on the job market for recruitment in Switzerland of highly qualified staff in the key areas where shortages exist.

Swiss residents remain in the labor market beyond legal retirement age to greater extent than citizens of other European countries. The number of workers pursuing additional vocational or job training in Switzerland to update their skill sets is too small to meet the increasing demands of the market for new skills. Further, the brain drain toward large urban centers is progressing. Add to that the aging of the population and the lengthening of the period of time spent in studies, the practice of early retirement and phenomenon of part-time employment. There are not enough workers for the job vacancies in Switzerland.

Different policies need to put in place to deal with the shortages,

notably using more effectively local resources by lengthening the professional career (later retirements), raising the rate of employment among women, and the recruitment of specialists from around the world when necessary.

Further, another look at the modes of remuneration and pension plans, old age compensations and a better utilization of the pool of retired persons.

The debate examined as well the expansion of Swiss job training programs, continuing education, and changing or reorienting of career paths. Employers in Switzerland today place great value on professional experience acquired in a variety of jobs, whereas previously career advancement depended more on seniority and fidelity in the same position.

The result is a strong demand among Swiss employers for international candidates with a multilingual and multicultural background who have had a variety of professional experiences.

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