Whilst the Croatian government is still debating and considering opening the labour market up to foreign workers to fill the countless gaps in the labour market seasonal foreign workers are turning their backs on Croatia. According to data from the Croatian Chamber of Commerce of the 4,660 work permits that were allocated to foreign workers this year only 1,188 have been taken up, or less than a third.
“Although the need for workers is high according to data from the 6th of April 2018 only 1,188 work visas have been approved,” commented the Croatian Chamber of Economy. Somewhat unsurprisingly the highest number of work visas for foreigners are in the tourism industry, from restaurant and hotel staff to chefs and cleaners. However, Croatia doesn’t appear to be an attractive destination for foreign workers, and this combined with the mass emigration of Croatians to other European Union countries has caused huge problems for the tourism industry for this season.
“The quotas have not been fulfilled because workers in countries geographically close to Croatia, as well as Croatian workers, have moved to more developed countries in the European Union,” added the Chamber of Commerce.
It is estimated that this year Croatia will not be able to provide all the workers required for the country’s tourism industry. Around 150,000 people work in the tourism industry in Croatia and from this number 20,000 are seasonal workers, a fifth of these seasonal workers were expected to come from abroad however it is already clear that there is a serious shortfall of staff.