Pogarcic Auto: Rijeka Company Opening Doors to Ukrainian Workers

Lauren Simmonds

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As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Vedran Pogarcic, the owner of Pogarcic auto, says he is more than ready to immediately hire a few professionals needed to work in his centre who were forced into exile by the war troubles in Ukraine.

”Of course, with the help of the competent services that will issue them work permits, I’m willing to offer a good salary for Croatian conditions, as well as permanent employment,” Vedran assured.

According to Novi list, this is the clear position expressed a few days ago by Vedran Pogarcic after several inquiries for the employment of mechanics with extensive experience in Ukrainian service workshops appeared on social media within groups formed to help refugees fleeing from war torn Ukraine.

With that offer of stability and work, without it really being his primary  intention at all, he kicked off talks on an interesting topic that is being widely discussed, but is still outside the public sphere. Even for lay people, it’s clear that without the significant immigration of young families that will bring employment opportunities to Croatia, there will be absolutely no significant demographic recovery. Banally speaking, the Croatian path to total depopulation can be prevented only by mechanical immigration. Pogarcic’s offer fits into such thinking, and it’s one of those that can be welcome for the country’s survival.

“What do we even think we’re talking about a lot of the time? We Croats are really two faced. We don’t want foreigners, but… there are no locals here either. We went through a very strict procedure to get our service centre up and running, which specialises in maintaining a whole range of car brands, from Ford to Jaguar, and we’re a reference point for conducting student internships. You know what we got for that? Next to nothing! The profile of occupations we need enrolls very few students, and if we look at the age structure of Rijeka, less and less are going to be enrolling as time goes on. And yet, there is work to be had, there is certainly work. However, when you honestly expose the current Croatian present and the future in public, you’re classed as just being a negative person,” the owner of Pogarcic auto explained.

With all the regret and deep sadness over the tragedy that recently befell Ukraine at the hands of Russia, it’s clear that the permanent settlement of thousands of Ukrainians can be something that will be very welcome for Croatia. These are people with a similar culture and mentality as people in Croatia and they are people who are typically quick to learn the Croatian language.

In addition, tens of thousands of workers are lacking in a whole range of occupations, from highly skilled ones such as those in medicine, all the way to those who are needed to work in tourism, Croatia’s most lucrative economic activity. As it usually happens, even the best intentions are criticised by the public, and Vedran Pogarcic also experienced them.

“As soon as I announced that I was offering a job to workers from Ukrbaine, Facebook warriors without an identity came forward and started calling me names. Their thesis is that local people must get a job first. I agree with that, but as hard as it is to have unemployed people in your country, it’s even harder and sadder not having people in your country at all. I’m looking in every way to hire local workers, professional people who are needed in this job profile. But they’re gone. They been gone for years. There are a lot of jobs to be had and salaries to be earned in my service, but there aren’t enough workers to do the job here in Croatia,” said Pogarcic auto’s owner for Novi list.

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