Addressing Labour Mobility Challenges

Addressing Labour Mobility Challenges: Insights from the Conference in Slovenia, held on 5th of March, 2024 in Brdo, Slovenia with WAPES Engagement

The recent conference on “Labour Mobility to Slovenia: Needs, Challenges, and Practices” held in Brdo, Slovenia, on March 5, 2024, brought together key stakeholders from across Europe to address pressing issues surrounding labour shortages and market mismatches. Organized collaboratively by the Employment Service of Slovenia, the European Labour Authority (ELA), this gathering aimed to explore policy frameworks and effective measures to meet labour market objectives outlined in the Treaty of Lisbon and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU.

Greta Metka Barbo Škerbinc, Acting Director General of the Employment Service of Slovenia, and Cosmin Boiangiu, Executive Director of the European Labour Authority, set an invigorating tone by underlining the critical nature of labour shortages in Slovenia and the broader EU.

Three insightful panels were conducted during the conference, each focusing on various facets of labour mobility and the challenges encountered by Slovenia and other European countries. The inaugural panel convened Slovenian policymakers and social partners to delve into the current state and challenges of labour mobility policies within Slovenia. The subsequent panel zeroed in on the practical hurdles and practices associated with recruiting workers from other countries, with representatives from Slovenia, Croatia, Austria, and Bosnia and Herzegovina meticulously examining factors such as technological advancements, demographic shifts, and the evolving conditions of work and employment. Notably, it was highlighted that the skilled labour pool from the Western Balkans has notably diminished, posing a significant challenge to meeting the labour demands of European countries. The final panel spotlighted EU policies and tools designed to mitigate skill shortages and foster fair labour mobility, with ELA emphasizing the pivotal role of the EURES network in facilitating cross-border job matching.

A noteworthy contribution came from WAPES Consultant Nicole Clobes, who provided invaluable insights into labour mobility from the perspective of a sending country, particularly highlighting Pakistan’s role as a Talent Partner in the EU Talent Pool. The presentation underscored the imperative of enhanced cooperation between the EU and partner countries to foster legal migration pathways and address skill mismatches effectively.

Throughout the event, esteemed guest speakers from various EU countries, along with representatives from the European Commission and the Secretary of Labour of Slovenia, shared their approaches and perspectives on addressing labour shortages. The overarching focus remained on whether Slovenia and other European countries are making sufficient efforts to attract and retain talent.

In conclusion, the conference served as a dynamic platform for robust discussions and exchanges on labour mobility challenges and solutions, underscoring the pivotal role of international cooperation and cohesive policy frameworks in tackling skill shortages and promoting fair labour mobility across Europe. As WAPES continues to foster connections between EU and non-EU member states, this conference stands as a significant milestone in advancing dialogue and collaboration amid the evolving demographic, technological, and environmental landscape.

For a detailed report in Slovenian, read on our Slovenian Members website here –