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Czech Republic – Technical staff with foreign languages in high demand

19 November 2013

According to a salary survey from staffing firm, Grafton, the highest salaries for qualified employees are in Prague and in the north of Bohemia. However, in the Usti region in the North of the country, the scarcity of qualified university-educated candidates has led to wage inflation. Large corporations are concentrated in the region and companies tend to overpay workers in order to attract them to the region.

The salary survey also revealed some interesting trends. "In technical jobs knowledge of a foreign language is increasingly sought after. In the field of IT or engineering, English is a must; while German is trending up, particularly in the automotive industry. The ideal is to know two languages, one very well, and at least some basics for a second,". According to a representative from Grafton Technologies, some companies are increasingly asking for Russian language skills, preferably in people who also have experience in the Russian market.

Above-average language skills are applied mainly in call centres, whose number grows in the Czech Republic. In addition to the compulsory English, other required languages ​​are German, French, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Polish and Scandinavian languages; there are also requirements for Turkish, Arabic or Hebrew.

The pharmaceutical industry is displaying some very strong prospects in the long term. The Czech pharmaceutical market is one of the largest in Central and Eastern Europe and employment in the pharmaceutical industry has been growing steadily in the last decade. The growing share of senior citizens in the Czech population is driving up the consumption of drugs and healthcare services and this trend can only become more pronounced. Qualified candidates with a sales background are increasingly in demand: people able to place new products quickly and effectively in the market, and able to communicate with doctors. 

Competition to attract and retain qualified staff in the industrial production sector is reaching new highs. The biggest demand is in the area of ​​mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and manufacturing; process engineers and quality engineers in particular are particularly sought after profiles. Demand for sales representatives in technical fields is expected to continue. Firms usually require at least two years of work experience and examples of past successes. The industry is also faced with a lack of sales people with a technical education and fluent English or German. In order to fill the gap in the labour market, some companies have set-up some traineeship schemes dedicated to fresh university graduates.

In the banking sector, the vast majority of job openings were for traders in the corporate segment and specialist profiles. In most cases, candidates had to meet three to five years’ experience and advanced knowledge of English. As several major banks announced job cuts, salary growth is not expected.

The Czech construction industry is experiencing a steady fall in volume of orders, leading to lower prices, which could threaten the existence of many construction companies. As for the real estate market (management, maintenance, sales and financing), companies are looking for managers with experience and language skills.

While people with secondary or higher education have more or less promising prospects, blue-collar workers throughout the country languish.  

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