German bid for foreign computer experts

Every year thousands of Czech university graduates compete for the most lucrative posts in their field. Many are turned away again and again on the grounds that they lack work experience, in a frustrating catch-22 situation. Now, young computer specialists have pricked up their ears. Germany, which has a lack of its own computer experts, has made a bid for up to twenty thousand foreign experts, promising excellent pay conditions and five-year labour permits to start off with. Daniela Lazarova has the story:

The German government's offer holds as of the beginning of this month up until August of 2003 and already thousands of young computer specialists from around the world are jostling for lucrative positions on the German market. As is often the case, word got out in advance and even before the offer appeared officially on the German government's Web pages five thousand applicants had called to be put on the list for 'green cards', among them several hundred Czechs. The German embassy in Prague is bracing for a flood of visa applications within the space of a few weeks, that is, just as soon as the job applicants have received their work permits from the German authorities.

I spoke to Lubos Bohm, a young computer expert who has been working in the field for two years and asked what the conditions were like in this country for ambitious young computer specialists. While at present the Czech Republic appears to have enough computer experts of its own, Lubos Bohm feels that in a few years time it may face the same problem as Germany, since there is a big difference between university graduates of computer sciences and true computer specialists. In view of Germany's lucrative offer, that day may come sooner than expected and then the Czech authorities will have to find their own solution to the problem.