The Croatian government plan to crackdown on the number of foreign workers in the country. Labour Minister Mirando Mrsić says that the government will be very cautious in the next few years with regards to new work permits it gives out to imported workers from outside the EU.
Currently in Croatia there are around 2,300 foreigners employed, one of the lowest numbers in the last 20 years. The record year for foreign workers was 2008, when around 8,500 foreigners were employed in the country. With hundreds of thousands of Croats out of work, the President of the Small and Medium-sized Business Association says Croatia needs to be careful.
“We live in a country where 400,000 people are without jobs and I am against employing foreigners. But, rules should not be too rigid because there are specific knowledge and skills that are not available in our market. I know business owners in the geological drilling industry, and only in Bosnia is there a school that educates drillers which they need,” said Petar Lovrić to daily Vecernji list.
Minister Mrsić recently informed the owner of a shipyard in Croatia that they would consider just 10-15 work permit requests for foreign welders, with the other workers having to come from the domestic market. In the record year of 2008 there were 1,700 foreigners employed in local shipyards, and 3,600 working in construction.