The first German labor office in the Czech Republic has opened its doors in the western city of Plzeň in a bid to find Czechs to plug some of the holes in the country’s labor market.
The office opened on Wednesday to showcase jobs in the rich German region of Bavaria and give advice to potential jobseekers following a deal between regional labor offices in the two countries signed late last month. It will be open on the first three Wednesdays of every month.
The move comes a year after the German labor market was opened up to Czechs and other workers from Central Europe, as demanded by EU rules, in a move that Berlin had delayed for fear of a flood of cheap foreign workers. But Czechs have, according to surveys, been singularly unenthusiastic about seeking jobs in neighboring Germany in spite of the shortage of jobs in some sectors caused by the relatively prospering economy.
The Plzeň labor office said Czechs were being sought in skilled technical-manual jobs such as welders, masons and bakers, with hotel work also offered in tourist regions such as the Bavarian Alps. Health workers and doctors are also being recruited.
Advice on finding jobs in Germany will be given by Weiden, Schwandorf and Deggendorf job centers. “We already have a common economic area in the border region. It is therefore logical that we have a common labor market,” said Schwandorf’s labor office’s Joachim Ossmann at the signing of the cooperation agreement.
The Plzeň city region has a lot lower unemployment than in much of the country, standing at 5.9 percent compared with the Czech national average of 8.6 percent in 2011, but outlying towns have higher rates. Average German pay levels are at least twice as high as those in the Czech Republic.