Record low Czech unemployment rate attracting foreign graduates
At 2.9 percent, the Czech unemployment rate is the lowest in 22 years, and in particular graduates have never had it easier finding work. According to labour office statistics there are currently ten vacancies per graduate, a state of affairs that is attracting young people from Greece, Italy or Spain to the Czech Republic.
“I think in the last decade the qualification level of young people has increased, but employment rates have fallen. So suddenly we have all these young people who cannot find a job in their field of work, looking for jobs that require lower qualifications. In the end you find yourself considering whether to go abroad. Because obviously I want to work in the field I studied.”
The Czech Republic ranks third on the European ladder as regards job opportunities for graduates. Malta is at the top, while countries such as Greece, Italy or Spain have far less to offer their graduates. As a result many young people are looking for work further afield. Most hope to be able to return home when the situation improves. Josephine is not holding out much hope and she is uncertain as to what the future will bring.
“I do not know if I will return home in the future. Maybe after turning sixty (laughs). I will not stay here forever. I will move eventually. But my plans are not in Spain.”
The highest number of foreign graduates who seek work in the Czech Republic are from Greece where the number of jobless school graduates is the highest in the European Union. Every month 150 to 200 Greek school-leavers look for work in the Czech Republic.
Some universities have set up web sites at which companies looking for graduates can place job offers and internship offers. Labour Office spokesman Martin Bačkovský says the booming economy and the low unemployment means that many companies no longer require work experience.
“There are currently 300,000 job vacancies on the labour market and in the case of 70,000 job offers lack of experience is not considered a drawback.“