Austria unveils plans to tackle skilled worker shortage

14 May 2024

In light of growing concerns from industry and trade sectors about the lack of skilled workers, Austria has unveiled plans for new labour market strategies to address this urgent problem. 

The government is taking proactive steps to enhance the recruitment of skilled workers from non-European Union countries, aiming to strengthen Austria's competitiveness in the global labour market. 

At the heart of this initiative is the plan to increase the number of work permits, known as the ‘Red White Card,’ granted to foreigners from third countries in the coming years. 

This card allows citizens of non-EU countries to live and work in Austria, aiming to fill the shortage of skilled workers across various sectors. Additionally, the processing time for companies' work permit applications will be reduced by half, simplifying administrative processes and speeding up the recruitment process.

Austria’s Minister of Labour and Economy, Martin Kocher, has committed to expedite the issuance of work cards for foreign nationals, especially in professions facing severe shortages. 

This move aims to help companies quickly meet their staffing needs, reducing waiting times and improving operational efficiency and productivity. Kocher stressed that doubling the number of work permits is a crucial step towards addressing the increasing demand for skilled workers across different industries.

The announcement was well received by the Federation of Austrian Industries, which has applauded the move to tap into the talents of foreign skilled workers. Christoph Neumayer, Secretary General of the federation, stressed the key role of qualified immigration in strengthening Austria's competitive industrial position. 

Acknowledging the importance of attracting and retaining skilled professionals, the federation sees this initiative as vital to sustaining economic growth and promoting innovation.

As Austria continues its efforts to tackle the skilled labour shortage, these new measures demonstrate a strong commitment to harnessing international talent for economic prosperity and competitiveness, Mena FN reports.

By focusing on recruiting skilled workers from third countries and streamlining administrative processes, Austria aims to establish itself as an appealing destination for global talent, securing its place in the changing dynamics of the global labour market.