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Cabinet agrees increase in monthly quota of Ukrainian workers

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Prague, Feb 8 (CTK) – The staff of the Czech general consulate in Lviv will be reinforced, thanks to which it will be possible to cross the originally set quota of Ukrainian employees, the government decided yesterday, Industry and Trade Minister Jan Mladek (Social Democrats, CSSD), said.
The quota was originally put at 5,000 people with a high qualification. It would be exhausted within three months at the current pace, Mladek said.
Until now, 3,800 people have applied for visas.
Mladek said the number of the Interior Ministry’s employees who vet the applicants for jobs in the Czech Republic will also be raised.
Some government members were against the raising of the nmber of Ukrainian employees at the meeting.
“It is true that it will arouse pressure for the price of the workforce minimally on the symbolic level. On the other hand, the quantity is relatively low,” he said.
He said Labour and Social Affairs Minister Michaela Marksova (CSSD) abstained from the vote because of objections by trade unions.
Employers called on the government on Monday to deal with a lacking workforce in the Czech Republic and to allow a temporary recruitment in Ukraine.
They say the government project for the legal admission of Ukrainians does not work in practice.
The Confederation of Employers’ and Entrepreneurs’ Associations says firms need to fill about 140,000 vacancies with any workers.
Unemployment in the Czech Republic was 5.3 percent in January.
The biggest demand is for welders, metalworkers, assembly workers, storekeepers, lorry drivers and fork-lift truck operators, as well as bakers, print workers and seamstresses.
The Foreign Ministry has raised the monthly quota of work permit applications for Ukrainians from 320 to 400 since this month.
The quota may be raised to 800 after the personnel reinforcement in Lviv is approved.
Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek (CSSD) said last May it will not be possible to fill in thousands of vacancies with Ukrainians. He estimated the number of reviewed work permit applications in 2016 at 5000.

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