The German Slovak Chamber of Commerce issued a statement today underlining how the Slovak industrial zone is suffering at the hands of rising taxes and a lack of qualified workforce.
Experts from the chamber told TheDaily how they are in agreement that without targeted educational reform, Slovakia will lose its footing as a favourable industrial zone. The chamber points to how the additional taxes being planned by the government will put an additional burden on companies, which are also suffering from a lack of qualified labour in industrial production fields.
“The number and qualifications of technical school leavers is inadequate and has been deteriorating in recent years” said Roman Nosko from the SNOPK expert education section. Head of SNOPK Vladimir Slezak underlined the need to reform technical education to meet the needs of industry, and so experts from the chamber will be preparing specific proposals to present to the government in the coming months, in the hop of increasing the attractiveness of technical subjects.
The 300 or so affiliated members of SNOPK employ over 75,000 people in Slovakia, generating around EUR 13 billion a year.
Demographics and the fantasy-fuelled career choices of many school-leavers are behind this problem – and it isn’t about to get better anytime soon. I’ve heard that all secondary schools near where I live are low on numbers. Low birth-rates in the mid-late 90s are behind that.
Everyone (a bit of an exaggeration but perhaps not so much) wants to get to gymnazium and then go on to study law, hence the ridiculous number of private law faculties sprouting up all over the country. Meanwhile, technical schools are closing. In less than ten years time, there’ll be thousands of unemployed lawyers and no’one to do the skilled work.
Yet another reason why 70% unemployment among the Roma is a tragedy. I know we have our disagreements about where the blame lies for that (not talking about you and me here, Dave, as we seemed to basically agree) but a society that can do a bit of joined-up thinking ought to be working on ways to make some of those unemployed the answer to the skills shortage.
Almost a decade after a UNESCO report into the failings of the Sk education system and German businesses are making the same observations.
With almost one in three of the workforce employed in some sort of public administration one has to wonder why change takes so long in this country.