The lack of quality workers in the tourism and hospitality industry in Croatia is a problem that has been tormenting Croatian employers for years.
The quest for seasonal workers has already begun this January because neither the increased quotas for employing foreigners nor the currently 187,000 unemployed Croatian citizens are a guarantee that there will be enough workers for the upcoming tourist season.
The prolongation of the tourist season and changes on the Croatian labour market only make the problem even bigger than it already is.
In order to facilitate the finding of a quality labour force, the Croatian Government has decided that accommodation and food costs for seasonal workers will be tax deductible this year, thus, leaving employers more money for workers’ salaries. Furthermore, considering the situation in the country as a result of a massive migration wave of Croatians to other EU countries in search of a better life, the Ministry of Labour suggested increasing the number of working permits for foreigners to almost 30,000.
The Croatian Chamber of Commerce has seen this move as a short-time measure that will enable the realization of the upcoming tourist season; however, a long-term solution should be sought in the dual vocational education. The Ministry of Tourism sees the solution in the activation of domestic labour force on the domestic labour market, primarily through re-qualifications.
Currently, around 2,000 people are being included in the re-qualification for tourist professions. According to some estimates, the summer season 2018 will require additional 10,000 to 15,000 tourist workers.