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LCCI: number of businesses experiencing difficulties with finding workers on a rise

Jānis Endziņš/lrpv.gov.lv.
The number of businesses that believe labour accessibility in Latvia has reached a critical level continues increasing, according to a survey performed by Latvia’s Chamber for Commerce and Industry.

When asked if they are worried about availability of labourers in Latvia, 67% of respondents said numbers are already insufficient. 23% of respondents said they will soon experience this problem. Only 8% of respondents said there is no shortage of workers and will not be in the foreseeable future.

«Since autumn last year, when we performed the first survey, the number of businessmen who are not only worried about labour force accessibility has been steadily increasing. This is a very serious signal for politicians – that it is time to act and start involving different social groups in the labour market, as well as consider other solutions to prevent slowing of business development,» says LCCI chairman Jānis Endziņš.

When asked if they already have experienced shortage of labourers in Latvia, 57% of respondents said yes. 31% mentioned they have experienced some problems, but they were resolved in the end.

LCCI also asked participants of the survey about the sectors in which shortage of workers is especially common. Most often respondents mentioned construction, service sector, retail trade, healthcare, etc. When asked about ways to resolve the problem of shortage of employees, business representatives often said it would be best to keep putting efforts into returning Latvian residents living in foreign countries back to their home country and replacing human resources with automated technologies.

Respondents were also asked in the July survey which less protected social groups they would be ready to employ. In 244 cases, representatives of the highest and medium level companies said they would be ready to employ youngsters lacking experience and education, disabled people, young mothers and pensioners.

«The moment has come to not only open up the market for people that should work but do not, but also perform certain legislative changes to permit employment of less protected social groups. I believe young mothers and pensioners, who also receive support from the state, could very well fill vacant part-time jobs. However, current regulations permit this only if those people agree to not be paid state benefits, which is not right,» says Endziņš, adding that unemployed benefits and terms should be reviewed to ensure jobless people return to the labour market and taxpayers’ money is no longer wasted on financing them.

LCCI found out that businessmen are prepared to train potential employees, offer convenient work hours, larger wages or additional social guarantees.


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