Official opening of info point for foreigners
On Wednesday, Minister of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities Ksenija Klampfer attended the official opening of the info point for foreigners, which operates under the aegis of the Employment Service of Slovenia.
The info point is located at Vojkova 2 in Ljubljana. Minister Klampfer said that she was happy about the opening, as the info point is a place where foreigners working in Slovenia will be able to obtain all of the information they need about the Employment Service’s services and all technical information and responses to their questions regarding their work. “The fact is that knowledge is power – power that well-informed individuals can use to overcome various obstacles. And ignorance and lack of information about their opportunities and rights has led to infringements of the rights of many foreign workers in the past and made it harder for them to work and live in Slovenia. The lack of basic information is often the biggest hurdle that foreign workers face on their path to a quality lifestyle. Employment opportunities play a major role in this, as they make an effective contribution to the more comprehensive and successful integration of migrants.
All workers in Slovenia have the same rights; we have to make an effort for each worker, and above all we have to maintain their dignity,” said Klampfer. The establishing of the info point marks the beginning of activities specifically aimed at preventing abuse of migrant workers, discrimination and potential unemployment after the expiry of their work permits. The Employment Service will also use the info point to provide information and advice to and education and training of potential migrant workers in those countries of origin with which Slovenia has concluded agreements (Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, etc.). Due to structural inequalities on the labour market and a lack of workers in areas in which the labour market has experienced a shortage for several years, the number of work permits and consents to the employment of foreign nationals issued has been growing in the last few years. The number of permits and consents has in fact doubled in the past few years, as more than 45 percent of employers are dealing with a lack of suitable candidates for employment.
The info point will therefore serve as a starting point in Slovenia for pre-integration measures in the country of origin and will operate on the basis of current information from the Slovenian labour market and information regularly obtained by the ESS’s employer liaison offices. Slovenian employers are working with the liaison offices and are therefore able to obtain the high-quality workforce that they were unable to obtain on the Slovenian labour market. These pre-integration measures represent a filling-in of the gaps that appeared as a result of intensive economic growth, and allow migrant workers obtain current information, knowledge and skills before entering the Slovenian labour market. Through this programme we are providing employers with access to labour markets, and language courses for candidates for employment in Slovenia, and thereby providing for the continued development of the commercial activities of successful firms.