Labor shortage crisis becomes more acute

  • 2005-11-30
  • Staff and wire reports
VILNIUS - Two media reports last week highlighted what is perhaps the Baltics' 's particularly Lithuania's 's most acute economic challenge: overcoming the labor shortage.
The Lietuvos Rytas daily reported that more foreign recruitment agencies were launching operations in Lithuania, while Vilniaus Vingis, one of the leading manufacturers of electronic components in the European Union, was struggling to find workers to fill a labor shortage in its plant.

Executive Search Ireland has opened an office in Vilnius to recruit qualified IT, building engineering and pharmaceutical specialists, programmers, project managers and architects. James Arnold, who heads the office, said that Lithuanian workers were highly valued in Ireland for being hard working, flexible and ready to work overtime.

"Lithuanians are keen to work in my native country, where they number about 140,000 already. That's why we decided to set up our branch in Vilnius," he said.

The recruitment agency expects that the Irish Embassy's recent opening in Lithuania will also make it easier for them to start business in the country.

Meanwhile, after laying off about 700 employees since December 2004, Vilniaus Vingis is having a hard time finding workers. "People aren't willing to work. Currently, we're short 100 workers," CEO Vaclovas Sleinota was quoted as saying. "The company badly needs people to work at the conveyor belt. In cooperation with the Labor Exchange, it could train people for this job within several months, but nobody is willing to be trained."

As Sleinota explained, demand for the company's products has recovered, and the company has emptied its warehouses and must now increase production.