Austria, Romania emerging job market for OFWs

As Covid-19 situation stabilizes in many parts of the world, more countries are opening their doors to hire migrant workers in various industries, mostly in the health care sector, the labor department reported.

Labor Attaché Atty. Maria Corina Buñag said even in the middle of the pandemic, various European countries within the jurisdiction of the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Milan, Italy still want to hire Filipinos to round out their need for workers.

“Aside from Milan, and Northern Italy, we have an emerging labor market in Austria, Romania, Croatia, Hungary, and Slovakia. Italy is now fast becoming an active destination for our OFWs because the employment landscape remains strong and attractive and there is a huge demand for Filipinos,” Buñag said.

The POLO chief said she looks forward to securing a bilateral agreement with Austria following their interest to hire around 1,000 nurses, nursing assistants, and other workers in the healthcare industry.

“Since there is a dearth of health care workers in the European region, for its initial project, the government of Austria is looking into hiring 1,000 nurses, from healthcare assistants to registered nurses or even higher ranks. Immediately after the election, we will have an ocular assessment of prospective employers. This is a long-term work opportunity for our health care workers, that is why we are working on how we can secure a recognized certification for our nursing graduates,” Buñag added.

She also shared that there is an upward movement of OFW deployment in Romania. “Currently, there are about 1,500 OFWs in Romania, but every week, around 20 OFWs are being deployed as household service workers, factory workers, as well as automotive workers,” Buñag said.

The POLO in Milan has also observed an increase in the hiring of OFWs in Croatia in the sectors of tourism and service industries such as hotels, resorts, and restaurants. Records have it that from less than a hundred, the number of OFWs in Croatia has now increased to 3,035.

During her interview with the employers in Croatia, Buñag gathered that the Croatians preferred Filipino workers, as OFWs are known for being talented, skilled, and proficient in the English language.

“With only 862 Filipino workers, we are expecting that the current deployment rate in Hungary will be expanded because the Hungarian government has also expressed interest in opening thousands of jobs for our OFWs,” the POLO chief bared.

While there is a relaxed Covid-19 health protocol in the European region, OFWs in Milan are still urged to continue observing minimum health standard protocols such as physical distancing and wearing of face masks outdoors, especially whenever they are in public settings.

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