As Sergej Novosel Vuckovic/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 26th of May, 2019, Sigetec Ludbreški, part of Ludbreg in Varaždin County, has a population of around only six hundred people, and every day there are more than a hundred workers coming to work at Inoxmont-VS, which deals with metalworking, the concrete assembly of industrial plants and equipment and more.
They manufacture and install industrial process equipment for steel, they perform pre-production and the mounting of brackets, and various other parts of industrial plants. It is definitely difficult and demanding work, but it’s fairly paid
There are about 170 people in operation here and abroad as posted workers, and the average salary is about 9,000 kuna. And that’s just the starting pay, experienced ”masters” get up to 23,000 kuna, or 3,000 euros. So, we are not in Germany, where Croats are more than happy to keep heading to, but in the north of Croatia, a county where the average salary is less than 5000 kuna.
How is that possible?
”It’s possible with us. And we should point out the fact that since May the 1st, our average salaries are even higher, we raised them by about five percent,” said the co-owners of the aforementioned company, Mladen Vidović and Zlatko Sova. They believe that the workforce is the foundation of their business and strives to ensure them the best possible conditions because ”things can only develop in such a way”.
“We’re constantly investing in technology, but even moreso in our workforce.For those who work as installers and welders on construction sites and under difficult conditions, we have implemented good work benefits, for a year we pay for fifteen months of their pensions and other allowances. Those who go abroad and work are provided with housing and transportation, only through the care of your employees can you deliver the quality service that is being sought from us,” say the directors of this Ludbreg company.
Despite the already-described benefits and this Ludbreg company’s almost magnetically attractive working conditions, Inoxmont still shares the same fate of many operating within the metal industry, and they’re facing a deficit of workers. At the moment, they have open positions.
In the local ”pool” of Varaždin and Međimurje County, where they have the largest number of workers, there still aren’t enough of them, and even the ”production” of staff from throughout Croatia doesn’t look like its going to be promising any time soon. Before even enrolling in high school, minors seem to already be picturing themselves abroad, having run away from the ailing metal industry.
“We talked with the director of the Varaždin Mechanical Engineering School, only six students enrolled in the field of construction in the construction sector, they are the only ones in Croatia who have enrolled in this subject. In vocational professions, of course, there’s a lack of qualified workforce, and we’re also feeling it.
We also talked to pupils who are interested in the position of CNC operator from Ludbreg High School, and they said that they were going to leave Croatia immediately after completing their schooling, and we tried to explain that they had come out of school without the necessary practical knowledge, ans when they either go to Germany or wherever else, they’d be negotiating not as an equal partner with an employer but would be begging for jobs. Along the same lines, no matter how long they spend in another country, they will always be foreign,”
The co-owners are more than aware of the problems Ludbreg’s Inoxmont faces, which, moreover, boasts workers from across the country, as well as from Hungary and Bulgaria.
Their attitude towards the import of labour is therefore clear.
“It’s necessary to increase import quotas or just abolish them, but that’s a fire-fighting solution, primarily to motivate people and stop them from permanently leaving the Republic of Croatia, but we all have to work on it, we give the maximum, we provide our workers with good conditions, but the Government must stand behind us,” say Vidovic and Sova.
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