Participation of the Minister of Labor and Social Security, Adonis Georgiadis, in a panel discussion at the Business Dinner of the Greek-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in Thessaloniki, together with the Minister of Development, Kostas Skrekas.
Journalist: Will we be able to make use of immigrants living in structures, is it a good solution to solve the problem, especially the problem of unskilled manpower?
“Look and see, the problem is much more complex. First of all it is not only Greek. The lack of working hands and workforce is a problem of the Western world in general and certainly of the whole of Europe. I will give an example. The reason why so many Albanians have left our workforce and gone to Italy and Spain is because Italy and Spain, due to a lack of labor force, give higher wages.”
“Whether the solution to the problem is the illegal immigrants who are in the centers is debatable under certain circumstances and it could be, but it also has a very strong counterargument. The counterargument is that if I give a signal that anyone who comes to Greece finds a job, you may suddenly find yourself in front of a wave of immigration that will be completely uncontrollable and completely indefensible. So, it must be done very carefully and under very strict conditions.”
“I want to see the whole picture. Immigrants as a supplement to a country’s labor force is a very necessary and useful thing, but it must be done in reasonable numbers and with strict rules. Why; Because after some numbers, very big problems are created over time. For example, when the Prime Minister of Sweden comes out and says, “I’m putting the army on the streets to stop the migrant clashes in Stockholm,” if I told you that this would happen in Sweden, what would you say to me? And yet this has happened.”
“With the excellent Governor of DYPA, Mr. Protopsaltis, our main effort is to try to train the domestic workforce and meet our needs first with the domestic workforce, as much as possible.”
“In terms of transfers, I would personally prefer organized migration, that is, transnational agreements with countries that are interested in exporting labor for a specific schedule and with specific terms and conditions. This would really be the ideal solution for the recall, where you can define every year how many you need, how many you will bring and from which countries you want them.”
Journalist: There was a LAEK account, but it no longer exists. With this account, entrepreneurs could support the training of human resources. Thinking of bringing him back?
“This LAEK exists. DYPA collects LAEK’s money and gives it to the social partners. We are in the phase where the social partners are to establish the company provided for by law so that they can collect and manage them themselves. So, LAEK has not been abolished. LAEK exists, is collected, is attributed to the social partners through DYPA. The goal of the law is that when they build the company, they take it directly and manage it themselves.”
Journalist: However, programs must be created.
“Because we stayed in the European Union and did not get carried away by the sirens of the counter-memorandum and other colossal nonsense of that period, we have today a shocking opportunity. Who is she; The proper use of the colossal European resources that have been given to us for re-skilling and up-skilling, i.e. for the training and re-skilling of our workforce”.
“Never in our history have we had the coincidence of so many colossal financial resources to allocate for this, in such a short period of time. In other words, if you add up the amounts provided for in the Recovery Fund and the amounts provided for in the current NSRF and also in the new NSRF 20-27, then in this case we get a mythical amount, which if we use it correctly – and our work with Mr. Protopsalti and Mrs. Stratinaki is to use it properly – we will be able to acquire the skills that the Greek labor market needs for the next 20 years. And so let us have a clear conscience that we have benefited our country. If no. we shall be worthy of our fate.”
“It is very crucial to achieve this, because how will the Minister of Development Kostas Skrekas be able to achieve the records if the Minister of Labor Adonis Georgiadis does not do his job? For a company to decide to invest in Greece, one of the things it will count in its decision is whether it will find the workforce it needs. If he doesn’t find it, he won’t decide to come. So, the records were broken. Here it’s kind of like “one hand washes the other and both the face”. It’s a team effort.”
Journalist: It is a group project and I imagine that in these specialized programs there is cooperation with entrepreneurs.
“With the chambers, with the entrepreneurs, with the market, with the social partners, we all sit at the table. My office has its doors open, we are listening to them.”
“One of the most successful things that DYPA does, which is shockingly cool, is Career Days. Employees make appointments through DYPA’s online services, come, see the companies. The last event we did was here, in Thessaloniki, during the TIF, where the Prime Minister honored us with his presence. 3,000 employee appointments were booked in two days. Today, 2,000 people have found work from the “Career Days” organized by DYPA.
“What are ‘Career Days’?” It is the partnership of private companies with DYPA. We will strengthen this, we will promote it, we will advance it. The next one will take place in Larissa.”
Journalist: With the new law, pensioners will also be able to work without their pension being cut, they will simply give a 10% percentage in favor of the EFKA. At the same time, workers can find multiple employers and work more than an eight-hour day. Of course, these alternatives are very important to fight black labor and grow a business. However, what about newcomers? That is, we help retired people, we help those who have a lot of experience. Are there criteria for employers to proceed with new entrants to the workplace? And what will they be?
“In fact, in the new law we established the possibility for an employee to work with multiple employers, and in the law that we will pass, it will be effective from 1the of the year, what you said about working pensioners. I do not agree that this is at the expense of new entrants to the labor market. This perception existed when we had very high unemployment. Today it makes no sense to consider it as real, because today wherever you go the problem is not unemployment, it is the labor force deficit”.
“What we are saying is a bit of an oxymoron. Because on the one hand we have a persistent unemployment of 10%, but on the other hand I assure you that there is not a single sector, whether it is industry, whether it is construction, whether it is tourism and catering, whether it is the agricultural sector as a whole, that does not complain for not finding workers. Today if someone wants to work, they will find a job. Perfect”.
“Today the problem is not finding a job. It is to match the skills offered by the labor market with the demand offered by the market. The example with the shipyards is a good example. Our shipbuilding industry today is not what it was 4 years ago. It has developed a lot in Perama and Elefsina and Syros and now Skaramagas is starting as well, so we suddenly have a very large demand for workers. So the problem is not incentives for new entrants. The problem is to find them the right job for what they want to do and we will find it.”
“We want to organize a presentation of our platform in Berlin”Rebrain Greece”, which is already operating and has already brought the first people from abroad to Greece. We are talking about the platform we have built with specialized and well-paid jobs in large companies in order to achieve “brain gain” in Greece. Many of these large companies are also companies that are currently here or others that are in Germany. And since you are also our official advisors, we are open to doing such a collaboration together.”
“We invite businesses to cooperate with DYPA. We absolutely believe in the cooperation of private companies with the Government and the State in the common goal of becoming an organized apprenticeship for people, regardless of age. There is a way to make the right programs for everyone in collaboration with companies and offer apprenticeships to our workforce to acquire skills that they currently do not have, but also to the businesses that will need them. So we invite you to such a collaboration”.