30% increase in the number of foreign workers in Serbia

In the first ten months of this year, the offices of the National Employment Service (NSZ) issued a total of 18,188 work permits to foreign citizens in Serbia. That is 5,257, or almost 30 per cent more than in the whole of last year.

Judging from labour market statistics, foreigners are very interested in working in Serbia, considering that the number of foreign workers has grown steadily over the past five years. “In 2015, a total of 6,362 work permits were issued, then 7,340 and in 2017, the number increased again by several hundred and amounted to 7,647,” the NSZ said.

It is noted that, in the following year, the number of foreigners employed in Serbia jumped by about 1,300 to 8,990 people. Before the pandemic, there was an even bigger increase to 13,809 new employees while, during the coronavirus pandemic, it dropped to 12,931 people, reports Vecernje Novosti.

“The largest number of foreigners working in our country come from China, Turkey, the Russian Federation, India and Ukraine. We don’t keep records on the education of workers and don’t have data, but our estimate is that the largest number of foreign workers are high school graduates, and are therefore employed in auxiliary jobs, while a low number are highly skilled,” the NSZ adds.

Sasa Torlakovic, president of the Independent Builders’ Union, believes, however, that there are many more foreigners working on construction sites in Serbia than the official numbers show. “There are so many undocumented workers, probably close to 10,000. We have known this for years, but nobody has been prosecuted for it yet,” he said, adding: “Out of 600 Turkish bricklayers working in Serbia, only 150 have a work and a residence permit, while the rest don’t have required papers. The situation is even worse with workers from India”.

Torlakovic adds that most of them are engaged in heavy physical work, and it is not known where they live and under what conditions. The worst, according to him, is that they work for 300 euros a month in a country where the average salary in this branch is 54,000 dinars.

(Nova, 08.11.2021)


This post is also available in: Italiano

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