How attractive is Slovenia for foreign talent?
Slovenia, a neighbouring country of Austria, with EUR 3.2bn of Austrian investment, more than 700 subsidiaries and 20,000 employees, is one of the top ten important trade markets for Austria. Therefore, Austrian companies in Slovenia employ Austrians, mostly managers, technical engineers, researchers and branch specialists, to support the Slovenian workforce with their knowledge and expertise. According to the Statistical Office of Slovenia, in 2017 about 78 Austrians commuted to their job in Slovenia daily and about 1,200 Austrians live permanently in Slovenia. On the other side, in 2016 more than a quarter (27 %) of emigrants with Slovenian citizenship left for Austria and about 12,000 Slovenian citizens commute daily to Austria, most of them to Styria and Carinthia. About 80% of all commuters are men. It can therefore be determined that, generally, people commute to countries with a higher purchasing power than their country of origin.
American Chamber of Commerce - AmCham Slovenia
In the modern world, the fight for talent has an increasingly competitive dimension which is why Slovenia and consequently Slovenia's economy, can gain a lot by facilitating the arrival of key talent from abroad. By being more efficient and predictable than now, Slovenia could become more competitive as a country. Talented and competent workers represent for all companies and particularly for high-tech development companies, a competitive advantage, and the key to Slovenia's development is high value-added jobs and investment in human capital. Therefore, at AmCham Slovenia, we strive for a more flexible labour market where we will focus on flexible forms of work that coincide with development and new professions. We propose more efficient regulation and expediency in obtaining work permits and temporary residence permits for foreigners in Slovenia, the establishment of better conditions, and the promotion of life quality for foreigners who want to come to study or work in Slovenia. In addition, improving and upgrading school programs and offering programs in English and other foreign languages would be helpful.
British - Slovenian Chamber of Commerce - BSCC
Labour costs are high in Slovenia, yet workers are not paid enough.
Slovenia has healthy economic growth and a low unemployment rate, which is ideal for attracting foreign talent from abroad and convincing Slovenians that work abroad to return home. With its high quality of life, vibrant capital city and English being widely spoken, it is an attractive destination for people who are looking for a good life balance. Unfortunately, it remains one of the least attractive EU countries for attracting talent from abroad, especially highly-qualified and well-remunerated job positions. This is due to Slovenia's high income tax policy, one of the least attractive in Europe. Labour costs are still high in Slovenia, yet labour is not paid enough. To make Slovenia more attractive for foreign talent, a more attractive income tax system is essential.
The German-Slovene Chamber of Commerce and Industry - AHK Slowenien
The German-Slovene Chamber of Commerce is a driver of the concept of Industry 4.0 and digitalisation in Slovenia. New knowledge, technologies and innovations are the foundations of development. Therefore, we are organising training for SMEs on how to start on the path towards Industry 4.0 and the further steps towards a Smart factory. Research and development, along with new technologies, will discourage young Slovenians from going abroad and will mean added value for Slovenian companies.
Slovenia has, according to an economic survey by our Chamber, the best suppliers and conditions for R&D in CEE countries, but lacks lower salary taxation and flexibility of labour law, both of which are a matter of politics. Nevertheless, we can see that Slovenia is attractive because of it's beauty, central location and the linguistic competence of its inhabitants. Most European states have faced a labour shortage in recent years, therefore we think that the companies will have to invest more in employer branding to reach and get the employees needed for faster and higher growth.
Italian Trade Agency (ICE)
In the last few years Slovenia has registered strong economic growth connected with an important employment increase. Recently, many employers, as well Italian companies in Slovenia, have registered a shortage of highly skilled personnel and are therefore forced to search for qualified people from abroad. Among the advantages, from Italy's viewpoint, is that Slovenia offers proximity, safety, natural beauty and the quality of life. On the other hand, the strong progressivity of taxation on wages can act as a braking factor. Look at the overall average net salaries in Slovenia which are a quarter lower in comparison to the Italian average. A labour market and laws in line with the current technological development challenges, including a job and self-employment friendly and flexible context, would help attract more foreign talent while, at the same time, prevent the flow of the highly-trained and intelligent local workforce from going abroad.
Luxembourg-Slovenian Business Club (LSBC)
By Iztok Petek & Nataša Zajec
Slovenia and especially its capital Ljubljana, is getting more and more interesting for young foreign experts for their internship or their first job. They are attracted by beautiful nature, a vibrant city culture and easy reach to nearby big cities and travels around the EU. However, they tend to choose the country for short stays only. We are observing the opposite situation with experienced professionals, there is a lack of progressive companies who require their expertise or companies cannot afford to pay them accordingly.
To put Slovenia on the map as a hub for foreign talent, there is an urgent need to create a business environment which will apply western liability standards. This will increase the inflow of capital and investment, enable domestic or foreign high-tech companies to offer appropriate conditions for skilled foreign workers and talent. We should not forget science (where Slovenia already plays a significant role), we should explore possibilities that applied research of Slovenian scientists is implemented in our country or even attract top foreign talent to do their research in Slovenia.
As long as we are only attractive for low-qualified and low-cost labour from even poorer EU or neighbouring countries, we are doing nothing more than just filling the gap in production automation.