Entrepreneurs advocating steps fighting youth brain drain
The club's forum, held under the slogan Young are the Future of Enterprising Slovenia, heard that the young were pursuing career paths abroad in the hope of better opportunities. Between 2014 and 2018, almost 11,000 left Slovenia, studies show.
Moreover, housing is in a dire situation, posing another challenge for the young and consequently the future prosperity of country.
The club called for tax as well as business measures, presenting steps which would not only fight the brain drain but also entice young Slovenian immigrants to return to their homeland.
SBC head Marjan Batagelj said that Slovenia did not have an ecosystem which would keep the young or attract them there, pointing out that numerous countries had surpassed Slovenia by providing tax, welfare and housing benefits.
"Slovenia is simply observing while the Balkan pool, on which we like to depend, is getting depleted," said Batagelj.
The proposed measures include tax reliefs, such as untaxed performance bonuses worth up to 200% of the employee's average monthly wage, and ways to reduce taxable income for top experts.
Furthermore, the SBC proposes tax incentives for companies building workforce housing, establishing the right to employability information, introducing business courses in schools and turning Slovenia into a popular destination for foreign experts to fill in the labour shortage.
The forum was attended by senior politicians representing different points on a political spectrum. Addressing the event, President Borut Pahor highlighted the importance of strengthening the institutions of Slovenian statehood in the time of a booming economy.
He added that social dialogue was needed for any structural reforms improving the economic and social situations in the country and making it more attractive for the young.
Education Minister Jernej Pikalo meanwhile said that projects fostering business skills were already present in schools. Moreover, in the past two years, more people with a PhD moved to Slovenia than out of the country, show preliminary data of the Education Ministry.
The Labour Ministry is also working on mitigating the situation, preparing agreements with Turkey and Ukraine which would facilitate attracting foreign workforce.