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Growth of Work in Switzerland – Jobs lack Personnel

Posted on 01 July 2008 by Hans-T

The workforce in Switzerland grew significantly in the first and second quarters of 2008. Switzerland is in particular need of wokers qualified in the building and construction fields and in Information Technology (I.T.).

The job market in Switzerland remains excellent and has even improved over the first two quarters of 2008, in spite of inflationary fears and worries over the general economy.

Job growth has been strong, there are generally more opportunities than qualified professionals to fill them, work in Switzerland continues to increase, pulling in experts from the surrounding EU countries and even globally.

According to a recent Manpower study, some sectors of the economy continue to show marked scarcities of qualified job seekers in Switzerland.

By contrast with the three months of last year, the workforce grew by IT Jobs in Switzerland

3% between January and march of 2008, to 4.5 million working professionals.

The strongest gains in annual job growth concerned the sectors of precision medical instruments and luxury watch making (which Work in Swiss Companiesshowed a gain of 7000 jobs, + 7.8%). Building and Construction also grew by 1.9% or 5700 jobs.

Health and Social Services also registered gains (+2.8% or 12,800 jobs) and services – particularly I.T. – rose 3.3% adding roughly 12,000 during the first quarter of the year.

In Switzerland, 36% of the 786 companies surveyed for the Manpower survey experienced problems recruiting qualified personnel. Our of 10 domains of activity affected by the scarcity of qualified professionals and educated work force, the economy lacks particularly qualified personnel in the building and construction industries – such as carpenters, electricians,… — as well as production workers and skilled technicians.

The lack of qualified technicians, particularly in the luxury watch making industries, such as micromechanics experts, constitutes a real threat to Swiss economic growth and future of work in Switzerland. Repercussions of the demographic changes in progress will aggravate further the current lack of qualified personnel in the coming years.

The report underlines the importance of professional training and continuing education, as well as facilitating the import and relocation of foreign professionals with key skills and talents in order to maintain the growth of Swiss industries and the quality of work in Switzerland.

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Filling Professional Jobs in Switzerland

Posted on 01 February 2008 by ThomasP

In the beginning of 2008, the scarcity of qualified personnel for jobs in Switzerland has deepened.

Thousands of specialists for key jobs in Switzerland are lacking the fields of I.T., banking, medical services, trading, as well as mechanical engineering, construction, and the hotel industry.

I.T. specialists, watchmakers, engineers in the pharmaceutical industry, mechanics, or even nurses – professional qualifications are worth gold in Switzerland. Switzerland is currently experiencing its worst labor crisis in decades, with severe shortages of qualified personnel in several key sectors of the economy and a record number of unfilled jobs.

Charles Belaz of Manpower Switzerland say succinctly, ‘the labor market is, in effect, extremely tight.’

An executive at Adecco adds, In general, all professions are affected when it’s a question of looking for highly qualified candidates for jobs in Switzerland.

Jobs for I.T. specialists - Swiss labor shortage

As a result, candidates currently have the upper hand in the process.

Top qualified candidates can choose between many possibilities say a recruiter with Curriculum SA, a company active in searching for qualified executives and professionals in service sector jobs in Geneva.

What are the professions and sectors the most affected ?

jobs in Switzerland - hot economy requires specialists

I.T. specialists are among the most hard to find and vigorously sought according to the administrators of some of the popular job recruitment websites in Switzerland.

“It’s not a new phenomenon,” notes Yves Fluckiger of the Employment Observatory, “but has simply become more and more serious with the expansion of the economy in the sectors of high technologies and information systems and communications.”

The shortage of candidates for jobs in Switzerland is made even more acute because so many large Swiss based companies are currently seeking to implement the same enterprise software systems like SAP and Oracle. And the I.T. field has also lost a lot of its luster in Switzerland over the past few years, attracting far fewer students in the Swiss universities.

Meanwhile, more and more multinationals are relocating to Switzerland for its infrastructure and its tax advantages.

The watch making industry is also hard hit by the shortage of qualified professionals – the situation is exacerbated by the explosion of the market for luxury watches. The Employment Observatory says the difficulties are of a structural nature: the Patronal Society of Watchmakers demonstrated that the expectations for current training of new professionals from now to 2010 will result in 2164 new watchmakers for the Swiss marketplace. While waiting for these future graduates to fill vacant jobs, the luxury watch companies must face the current labor shortage with recruitment abroad or hiring from the unemployment rolls.

Then there is nursing and the hotel industry. The demographic explosion in Switzerland has created a severe lack of nurses and paramedical personnel. The hotel industry has long suffered a lack of qualified professionals; the field is known for its low salaries and difficult working conditions.

The labor market is simply completely dry, according to Manpower executives in Switzerland, and notably in the domains of pharmaceutical, medical technologies, and I.T. specialties. Today, says Manpower, the only solution to filling jobs in Switzerland is to recruit outside of Switzerland.

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Jobs in the Perfume and Aromas Industry

Posted on 16 September 2007 by Heidi

Among the unusual industries that make up the Swiss economy is the chemical industry.

Perfume and aroma manufacturers are an important contributor to professional work opportunities in Switzerland. The Swiss perfume industry prefers to flourish outside of the public spotlight but is nonetheless omnipresent in daily life: from toothpaste, to shower gel, cosmetics, perfumes, detergents and food additives.

In Dubendorf, near Zurich, Givaudan has an enormous manufacturing plant where the aromas and flavors in vogue as well as those in development for the future are produced.

The Givaudan premises employs roughly 450 people, many in chemistry and laboratory fields.

At the Givaudan plant, the smell is all around you. The visitor is immediately struck by the odors, difficult to identify, and changing as one walks about the premises.

At Givaudan, the professionals involved in making the scents have highly developed olfactory senses and are capable of identifying hundreds of different smells, which they associate with a souvenir or an emotion as a mnemonic device.

Givaudan trains groups of specialists, highly selected among the professionals who apply each year, for tuition at the Perfume School established in Paris.

In order to be a successful professional in the field of developing aromas, one needs both experience and a powerful memory.

The Givaudan plant dates to the late 19th century, and part of the buildings harbor the production of more than 4000 aromas in powder and liquid form, destined for a range of multinationals in the food industry. Givaudan is the world leader in aromas and fragrances having purchased the Dutch Quest last year. In Switzerland, the chemical sector, which includes the perfume and aromas industries, is an important sector which contributes thousands of jobs and demands highly skilled professionals.

Part of the production is entirely automated via complex machinery which do the mixing of the chemistry. Other mixtures are done in small quantities manually by the employees, carefully controlled by olfactory testing, before being delivered to their buyers. The manufacturing is not limited to the Zurich site; there are other subsidiaries in over 40 countries.

In the laboratories in Dubendorf near Zurich, the R&D is located, and perfumes and aromas are developed here. The company spends roughly $ 200 million per year on its R&D activities to discover new molecules whose olfactory properties can be added to its already impressive list of patented aromas.

The difference, in the perfume industry, is not just in the invention of new aromas. The proper production of the resulting perfume must be done correctly. Givaudan produces on average at least 2-4 new aromas each year.

Among the most recent discoveries of Givaudan introduced into the market were ‘Florymoss,’ ‘Pomarose’ (a mixture of apple and rose), and ‘Javanol’ (a mixture that reproduces the odor of sandalwood). These synthetic perfumes are usually used in the detergent and washing industries, and the rest in the fine perfumes industry.

Scientists at Givaudan are currently active in making citrus perfumes. Smell is an emotional sense and the vocabulary is often lacking to describe the variety of odors we perceive. This is a big problem when it comes time to present a pallet of odors and aromas to clients.

To accomplish this, Givaudan had to develop several years back a solution: a portable suitcase which could disseminate the new creations and permit immediate modifications at the customer site, according to the client’s taste.

If the labs at Dubendorf are fixed on trying to imitate as close as possible the smells of Mother Nature, the secret to reproducing the odors to be found in nature is often hard to crack.

Givaudan organizes expeditions called ‘taste treks’ where researchers go around the world to the most improbable places to seek out unknown vegetable species.

Last year, in the Valley of Death in California, Givaudan’s team found an exceptional flower resulting from strong rains. Habitually it is in the jungles from Madagascar to New Guinea, which are explored by these researchers for new smells, seeking a new flower or fruit which could give rise to a new moneymaking perfume or aroma. The teams carry special appliances which permit them to capture the essences of the plant’s or fruit’s molecules.
Once they discover a new plant species, they need to find a way to reproduce the odor’s formula. In this business, odors and aromas, molecules are patented for 20 years. Once this time limit as elapsed, the molecules fall into the public domain, where thy can be copied at will.

Thus the accent placed by Givaudan on its R&D, which is indispensable for conserving a lead in the marketplace, where other companies such as Firmenich and IGG, or Symrise or Takasago are important competitors. Givaudan also has a large center in Geneva.

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Job Board

Posted on 25 August 2007 by info

Employment opportunities for english speakers to work in Switzerland have been multiplying exponentially since the opening of the borders 5 years ago. Careers and job openings in major Swiss cities are increasing rapidly, covering most employment sectors. Usually but not always, at least one language of Switzerland (french, german, or italian) is also required.

Below is a brief selection of job offers appearing yesterday in the local press. Today’s selection includes a bank, a medical device manufacturer, and a UN organization. A large number of administatrive, I.T. services, pharmaceutical and banking and financial services jobs and executive positions are reserved for fluent english speakers; despite the fact that it is not an official language of Switzerland, english has become the de facto 5th language for work in Switzerland with which different linguistic groups communicate with each other. It is very difficult to find work in upper the echelons in Switzerland either in the corporate world or in Swiss public administration without fluent english. It is impossible to land any kind of job in the international civil service without english.

Phonak Accoustic, which is active in the medical sciences, is seeking an Operational Buyer to support the lead buyer, build up the purchasing process and support the negotiations of contracts and service agreements with external suppliers, as well as build and maintain relationships with them. The profile to be recruited will be responsible for providing the necessary material, maintaining and updating the contract database and controlling invoices. This position is also responsible for providing administrative support to the strategic buyer.
The Company is looking for a self-driven, dynamic person with at least 2 years experience in the domain of operational purchasing. Experience in the medical device environment is also desired. The candidate for the job should also have a commercial or techncial background, with ideally a higher degree in the supply chain domain. The position requires excellent organizational skills and ability to deal with a broad range of activities as well. In-depth know-how in SAP & MS Office and excellent English skills are required. Knowledge of french and/or German is desirable.

Candidates interested in the job opening in Lausanne, Switzerland, can send their employment applications for the job containing their CV, covering letter, and references to : Monika Hänni, Human Resources Manager, Phonak Acoustic Implants, Avenue du Rhonadie 60, 1007 Lausanne, Tel: +41 21 672 3340,

Pictet & Cie, a prestigious Swiss private bank, is seeking to recruit an Administrative Assistant for its private banking department in Geneva. The job description for this position is: Providing administrative assistance to clients, answering client calls, preparing client visits and following up on client dossiers, providing assistance to managers (travel arrangements, appointment schedules, filing), organizing meetings, dealing with correspondence, placing market orders and verifying their execution.

The profil of the ideal candidate for this job is someone with:
a CFC or equivalent qualifivcation, experience working as an assistant or in asset mangement, ability to work for several people, skilled in common IT applications (MS OFFice) and the internet, and with excellent knowledge of english, a good knowledge of french, and if possible written and spoken german. It is necessary that the holder of this job be resident in Switzerland. The environment is luxurious and the person that Pictet Bank’s recruitment will select for this job will be well-groomed and of smart appearance, motivated, versatile, and highly organized.
Interested candidates for this job vacancy should send their full application for this employment position via the Pictet website ( or by post at Pictet & Cie, Human REsources – Ref: GPA/SHS/DS, Route des Acacias 60, 1211 Geneve 73.

UNITAR (the UN Institute for Training and REsearch) is seeking a Personal Assistant to the Executive Director for Geneva. This job involves responsibility for delivery of administrative and office support functions, regular assistance in drafting routine correspondence, timely production of a range of documents, application of relevant policies and guidelines and processes, establishment of working relationships with external and internal staff. The person recruited for this job will have at least a high school diploma and preferably specialized secretarial courses, at least 5 years experience in administration and office support functions in a large organization, and fluency in English and French. A Knowledge of spanish is highly desirable. Applicants for the job can send a letter of motivation and the P11 employment application along with a CV by email to: before 15 September 2007. The complete job vacancy is on the Unitar website. Note that UN organizations are exempt from the requirement of requesting a work permit from the Swiss government. This website contains numerous positings concerning working at UN organizations.

Givaudan is seeking to recruit an Project Engineer, for their perfumery in Geneva. The engineer to be recruited will conceive and develop as well as manage projects in chemical engineering, manage project budgets, establish project management priorities and job roles, manage suppliers and follow up on the workflow. The profile sought for this job is someone with a solid experience in a chemical engineering industrial environment, with a team spirit, fluent english, and possibly german. Interested applicants can apply for this job by writing to: Givaudan Suisse, Département des Ressources Humaines, 5, chemin de al Parfumerie, CH 1214 Vernier.

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Non – EU Nationals Working in Switzerland

Posted on 25 July 2007 by LegalBeagle

As the implementation of the laws governing foreigners working in Switzerland is constantly evolving, here is a current run-down on obtaining permits for work in Switzerland if you are not an EC / EU national.

On the Swiss labor market, priority is given to Swiss nationals or to resident foreigners who hold residence permits or permits to work in Switzerland.

Permits are granted only if the employer is offering the foreign national the same salary and employment conditions that are in effect for locally recruited staff in the relevant industry and if the foreign national has adequate health insurance.

The employer wishing to obtain a permit for employing a non EU national is required to prove that it has made every possible effort to find qualified candidates on the Swiss and European labor markets. The Cantonal Employment Office has a special application form which companies are required to use to announce vacancies. No permit (for a non EU national) may be applied for until at least 3 weeks has elapsed subsequent to filing such a vacancy notice. During this period the Employment office will seek to present qualified candidates to the company. Because of the penury of highly qualified professionals in information systems, telecommunications, biotechnology, banking and financial technologies, pharmaceutical research, and luxury watchmaking, often for these specific fields international recruitment is the only viable solution for companies.

Foreign nationals holding the annual (B) work permit are required to obtain permission to change their job, profession or canton or to change from employment to self-employment.

When filing a request for a permit for a prospective employee, employers wishing to hire a non EU citizen must provide the following to the government immigration authorities:

1) A description of the job position

2) Proof that they have advertised the position locally, sought staff on the local market and failed to find adequately qualified personnel

3) A filled-out application form for a permit for a non-EU national, specifying the salary of the job (which must be at a ‘specialist’ level – Minimum $65,000/year). A company wishing to relocate executive staff to its Swiss offices is exempt from scrutiny of the job position.

4) Copies of the CV of the individual the company wishes to hire

5) Copies of the diplomas and relevant work certificates of the individual the company wishes to hire

6) Copies of the passport of the individual the company wishes to hire

7) A motivation letter from the company explaining why they want a permit for this individual

Obviously, large multinationals who have substantial weight on the national labor market– such as the banks, agro-industrials, pharmaceutical companies and research institutes, hospitals, luxury watch companies – have, as a rule, little trouble obtaining the permits they request. Therefore, when offered a job, which is obviously contingent on authorization of the company’s permit request, you can start packing your bags if the company is UBS, Nestle, Credit Suisse, Novartis or MerckSerono, but you may want to wait prudently if the company seeking to hire you is XYZ Export company with only 8 employees.

On the basis of an authorization to work in Switzerland the foreign national then applies for the specific entry visa at the Swiss consulate or embassy of his residence and picks up his work permit upon entering Switzerland. The entering foreigner must have his visa stamped by the immigration officers at the border.

Failure to do this can result in being required to exit and reenter Switzerland !

A Summary of the myriad permits for work in Switzerland is found below:

B PERMIT (Ausländerausweis) — this is a long term permit subject to quotas (Aufenthaltbewilligung mit Erwerbstätigkeit)
Issued for ‘Economic interests’ based on Employee qualifications
Priority for Swiss and European Union workers
Compliance with local employment conditions
Availability of quota
Renewable until granting of settlement C permit after 10 years (USA + Canada 5 years)

B PERMIT — short term and also subject to quota (Kurzaufenthaltbewilligung)
Issued for ‘Important projects’ or International joint programs
For sports figures
Issued for up to 3 years, potentially even up to 6 years in certain cases

B PERMIT for Residency (Aufenthaltbewilligung im Rahmen des Familiennachzugs)
A long term permit not subject to quota
Based on family grouping, or change of employer, profession or canton
Renewable and Can be converted into a C Permit

L PERMIT — Short term permit not subject to Quota
(für die Ausübung einer kurzfristigen Erwerbstätigkeit sowie für andere vorübergehende Aufenthalte)
For training, project work, setting up Information systems or other technical infrastructures, fiduciary review, extra labor in a busy period, start-ups, etc. Also Management and development of a company when the presence of a manager is not required all year. Ususally for 4 consecutive months — known as a 120 – day permit.
Also for young people employed as au pairs, aged 18 to 30 years : Canadian, USA, Australian and New Zealand nationals (30 hrs/wk), young workers qualified as health professionals and trained abroad who wish to develop their professional skills
Renewable up to a maximum of 24 months
For Cabaret dancers and other artists (Form A7) renewable up to maximum 8 months in a calendar year

G PERMIT for Border workers for commuting to work in Switzerland (für Grenzgängerinnen und Grenzgänger)
For third countries workers under specific circumstances; residence is not in Switzerland
Valid for 1 year, Renewable

N PERMIT for asylum seekers (für Asylsuchende. Dieser Ausweis wird von den kantonalen Behörden gestützt auf den Entscheid des Bundesamtes für Migration ausgestellt)
Foreign nationals, who during the time their asylum application are being processed are permitted to seek temporary employment until a ruling is given on their application

F PERMIT for temporary admission (für vorläufig aufgenommene Ausländerinnen und Ausländer (Art. 14a ANAG, Art. 5 VVWA). Dieser Ausweis wird von den kantonalen Behörden gestützt auf eine Verfügung des Bundesamtes für Migration ausgestellt.)
This work permit is for foreign nationals who do not qualify for asylum; it’s renewable.

Ci PERMIT (Dieser Ausweis wird von den kantonalen Behörden für erwerbstätige Ehepartner und Kinder von Angehörigen ausländischer Vertretungen oder intergouvernementaler Organisationen (IO) ausgestellt.)
This is the work permit for the spouse of an employee of an international organisation. The spouse must be living in the family unit. Also valid for children under 21 years.

C PERMIT – permanent residency — this is what the other permits usually turn into if you reside in Switzerland long enough.

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Job Board

Posted on 14 July 2007 by info

The national unemployment rate in Switzerland remains below 3%, with the economy experiencing labor shortages in several important market sectors. Zurich and Geneva remain the most desirable Swiss cities for foreign professionals seeking work in Switzerland.

As part of our periodic regional press roundup, a selection of jobs in the Geneva-Lausanne area is excerpted below. For current job offers in Geneva, Lausanne, Neuchatel and the Jura, one should consult the websites of Le Temps, The Tribune de Genève, 24 heures, as well as the numerous recruitment websites for the French-speaking regions of Switzerland. For the English-speakers living and working in Switzerland, the most extensive subculture is in Geneva and Zurich.


Hotel Bristol, Geneva – Four star hotel, member of SRS World Hotels, “The Charming Hotels,” and Independent Luxury Hotels, seeks an experienced Receptionist who is fluent in both English and French. A third language is highly desirable. Candidates should address their applications to the Bureau of Personnel, Hotel Bristor, 10 rue Mont-Blanc, CP 1636, 1211 Geneva 3.

Hotel Beau-Rivage, Geneva, Five star hotel, is seeking a Chef for its gastronomic restaurant “Le Chat-Botte” (rated 17/20 in the Gault Millau) who is fluent French and English. The Hotel also seeks an Attaché Commercial, fluent in French and English, with experience in sales and solid mastery of I.T. tools. A third open position at the Hotel is Assistant to the Banquets Director, candidates for which should be experienced, at ease with computer tools, and fluent in French and English. For all positions, apply to the Bureau of Human Resources, Hotel Beau-Rivage, 13, Quai du Mont-Blanc, 1201 Geneva, Tel: +4122 7166967, Email:

The University of Geneva is seeking a Professor of Egyptology, a full time position, with 6 hours of courses and seminars per week, spread over the BA and MA programs of the department of Antiquity Studies- Candidates should have research and teaching experience in languages, literature, and civilization of ancient Egypt, an interdisciplinary approach, one or more domains of specializations likely to attract students. Teaching is in French. The candidate will de called upon to develop at the national and international level research in his domains of specialization and to direct the work of students. A doctorate in letters is required or its equivalent. For September 2008 entry. Applications should be sent before 30 September 2007, accompanied by a letter of motivation, copies of curriculum vitae and publications, to: Faculty des Lettres, Uni-Bastions, 5, rue de Candolle, CH 1211 Geneve 4.


Dupont, Geneva, is seeking a Medical Nurse who will take part in the Helth Services Team under the direction of the company medical doctor at Dupont Geneva and will provide medical services for the employees at the Geneva site, which has over 700 staff located in the administrative complex in Grand-Sacconnex and the European Technical Center in Meyrin. The Medical Nurse will carry out medical examinations and provide support in occupational health subjects, and make decisions in emergencies when the company doctor is absent. The candidate should be an accredited nurse with a diploma from a nursing school and be fluent in English and French, with 3-5 years of experience in Occupational Health or Public Health, have a balanced and open personality, and be able to cope with pressure with minimum guidance. Applicants should apply directly online via: under the career section.

Les Lauriers, a private clinic in Geneva, is seeking an experienced nurse (80%-100%), with experience working with old people. The candidate should have a diploma, preferably with a geriatric specialty, and have office computer skills. Candidates should send their applications with photograph to Etablissement Médico Social, 7 rue Veyrassat, 1202 Geneva.

Marketing and Communications

The International Council on Human Rights in Geneva is seeking a Program Administrator, who has at least 3 years of experience with monitoring expenditure, organizing meetings, managing address systems, and is at ease with computer tools and programs. Excellent written and spoken English is required and fluent French is desirable. Information can be obtained from or c.v.s/applications sent to Patrick Cattan at

The International Council on Human Rights in Geneva is seeking a Communications Assistant with 3-5 years of experience and fluent in written and spoken English, with French or another major language. Experience in producing presentations, slide shows, catalogues, hard copy mailings, and marketing publications. The candidate should be organized, detail-oriented, and creative, and have strong skills in communications, like website creation, e-communication, and database management. Information can be obtained from or c.v.s/applications sent to Mariette Grange at

The Ringier Media Corporation, Lausanne is seeking a Key Account Manager to develop their advertising business in the French-speaking regions of Switzerland. Ringier publishes L’Hebdo, L’illustré, TV8, and other publications and now employs 230 people. The candidate should be between 25-45 years old, and have strong experience in advertising and sales, at ease in the world of fashion and luxury, as well as the financial world. Applicants should send their CVs with a motivation letter and salary requirements by email to : or by mail to Ringier SA, Département publicité + R&D, Patrick Zanello, CP 7249, 1002 Lausanne.

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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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Jobs in the Swiss Luxury Industries Remain Unfilled

Posted on 05 July 2007 by Papessa

The Swiss luxury industry is growing at a rapid pace and continuing to increase Swiss employment opportunities and create work in Switzerland.

Recently the Swiss Watch Industry decided that at least 80 per cent of the production costs for mechanical watches must be attributable to operations in Switzerland in order to affix the attribution ‘Swiss-Made.’ For electronic watches, the percentage will be set at 60 per cent. This rate is spelled out in the free-trade agreement between Switzerland and the European Union. Exempted from the agreement are raw materials, precious stones and batteries. In the future, the agreement stipulates, technical construction and prototype development must also be carried out in Switzerland.

Previous regulations required that only 50 per cent of costs be incurred in Switzerland and the Federation spokesman Jean-Daniel Pasche said the Federation was convinced that the Swiss Made label needed to be strengthened.

work in Switzerland - Swiss luxury industry

The world’s largest manufacturer, Swatch Group, declared that they were pleased that the decision was also supported by small watchmakers. Swatch president Nicolas Hayek recently commented in an interview with Le Temps that current standards had created too much opportunity for fraudulent practices. He said the revision was necessary for authenticity and credibility.

Swiss luxury watch manufacturers are enjoying steady growth in markets and profits and have not been able to recruit all the qualified professionals they need to respond to demand.

The luxury watch industry now employs close to 50,000 people. Three quarters of watch industry staff are employed in workshops and the majority of industry personnel are employed in production. Administrative and organizational tasks are currently performed by 25% of personnel in charge of administration management posts.

Of particular interest and importance to the sector’s leaders is that the level of training of production personnel is rising steadily. Since the Swiss watchmaking industry is very upscale, highly qualified personnel are of key importance. Over 15% production personnel have higher education and over 40% hold a vocational diploma (a Swiss CFC or equivalent foreign qualification). Still, semi-qualified or unqualified workers now account for roughly half of production personnel and 40.0% of all employees. The proportion of men and women employed in the watch industry is about equal.

Meanwhile the proportion of men and women employed in the watch industry is almost perfectly balanced, with 24,107 male workers (54.2%) and 20,337 female workers (45.8%).

The watch industry’s workforce is mainly concentrated in the Jura Arc region, with most of watch manufacturers present in this area. The seven cantons comprising what is referred to as the “watchmaking region” have a combined total of over 40,000 employees, with the canton of Neuchâtel having the highest number of jobs in watchmaking with over 12,000 jobs and nearly 200 companies. Geneva is a key center for high-end luxury watch production, with the most prestigious brands like Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin, Roger Dubuis, and others based there.

Competition among the luxury watch makers for qualified personnel is stiff with many companies raiding their competitors’ personnel.

For those seeking work in Switzerland, the luxury industry is one of the tightest labor markets with numerous jobs remaining unfilled. A number of websites and recruiting agencies have opened recently catering specifically to the recruiting needs of the luxury industry.

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