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Croatian Chamber of Commerce warns about shortage of wood processing workers

ZAGREB, Aug 30 (Hina) – The Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK) warned on Tuesday about the shortage of workforce in the wood processing industry, which was, besides young people leaving to work in the EU and insufficient interest in vocational schools, compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The shortage of workforce is an old problem in the domestic economy, and it is especially pronounced in the wood processing industry. There are several reasons for that, from emigration and the reluctance of young people to move to rural areas where most facilities are, to insufficient interest in enrolling in vocational schools and working in the occupations for which they studied. The older generation are increasingly retiring, and young people go to other EU countries because of higher salaries,” the HGK said in a press release.

Vice-president of the HGK Dragan Kovacevic noted that it was also difficult to find a skilled workforce outside Croatia and the pandemic was making it even more difficult to find and bring a workforce from abroad.

The HGK underscored that judging by the interest of young people, the labour market would not satisfy the demand for wood processing workers any time soon. The list of the 20 most popular vocational schools for the next school year does not feature occupations that are most sought after in the wood processing industry.

The three most popular programmes are those for auto mechanics, media specialists and beauticians. There are, however, no carpenters, locksmiths or machinists on the list.

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