The Slovenia Times

Employers' Association boss: Slovenia needs foreign workforce


Not having a functional government is bad but Slovenia has not had a functioning government for a long time, Trobiš said in an interview with the STA, adding that many decisions had been taken late or not at all.

The situation in Slovenia has improved above all due to the economy and not the government, he believes. But the economic growth brought with it a set of problems of its own, including the lack of work force needed by companies.

"Good staff ... ventured abroad, where they are valued differently. In Slovenia, we now need to make do with what we have. Therefore many employers have started looking south for workers with appropriate training."

The lack of workforce will become an even greater problem in the future and Slovenia must become more open to other cultures and work on integrating foreign workers in society, Trobiš said.

Slovenians are not used to multi-culturalism and this will be a great challenge for the future. Slovenia will not be able to sustain the growth trends forecast for the coming years without workforce from abroad.

But there are still many unemployed people in Slovenia because for many it does not even pay to work, said Trobiš, who is against an increase in social transfers.

He believes that Slovenia should always keep in mind how it compares to similar countries. It wants to be like Germany when it is in fact more like Slovakia and Poland.

He believes a 30% increase in the minimum wage was not a good idea, while high labour taxes and contributions are another problem.

Trobiš agrees with trade unions that salaries are too low but also believes that this problem should not be addressed with an increase of the wage bill.

He also says that Slovenia should stop the expansion of its public sector, where the number of employees increased by 8,000 during the term of the outgoing government alone.

Trobiš is critical of the government, showing no understanding for the resignation of Prime Minister Miro Cerar.

"When somebody steps down, they probably do it because they can no longer see themselves performing that job. I don't entirely understand why that person would vie for the same job again in a few months."

He hopes the next government will be more homogeneous and will show more support for the needs of the economy. Apart from shrinking the public sector, the next government also needs to make the labour legislation more flexible.

"The trade unions' argument that we want to get rid of workers no longer exists because the exact opposite is true: we need workers," said Trobiš, the CEO of car seat covers maker Boxmark.

The problem is so serious that Trobiš doubts Slovenia will be able to accommodate another big investment on the scale of the Magna plant being built near Maribor.


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