Let’s invest in skilled workforce

Let’s invest in skilled workforce

One of the main factors of attraction for major foreign investment, but also for local investors, has always been the level of qualification of the workforce

Unfortunately, for investors this factor also represents one of the main risk factors in terms of growth opportunities. Availability of well-qualified workforce is one of the most often cited factors by investors in recent years regarding the risks of future growth, the emergence of new investments and even the stability of existing local investments. These fears are primarily connected to the quality of the graduates training in both undergraduate education, and higher education, but also to the reduced number of young people who are training in occupations that are in high demand in the industry.


In the undergraduate education system, these fears can be removed by setting up vocational schools, teaching searched specializations and raising the level of training in both content and quality of education. In both directions, an important role has to be taken by economic agents. Through the government ordinance in February 2012 on the (re)establishment of vocational education was made a first step by creating a legal framework in which businesses can get involved to raise the level of training.


Companies will need to get involved both in defining school profiles and adapt curricula, as well as in taking responsibility for training students, their management and financial support through scholarships, organizing practice programs in enterprises. The economic environment has made the first steps and we hope for consistency, collaboration and political continuity to achieve a first major success in the Romanian school education of the last 20 years. In this way we will form true professionals, we will increase the employability of young generations and we will finally enable the economic growth that we need so much.


In such circumstances economic agents must react by adapting costs and consumption to the  reduced level of orders. Unfortunately, these measures may not circumvent labor costs and this can ultimately mean, depending on the intensity and duration of the unfavorable conjuncture, staff reductions. Certainly, the business community has never seriously expected a miracle solutions from the state to re-launch the economy, and support the economic agents. We often heard the expression "it would be sufficient if the state would not confuse us more than usual", but it would be a pleasant surprise to see that the Romanian state would be concerned at some point about how they could improve the "rules of the game" towards the mutual interest of all parties involved and ultimately its own citizens.


So you might find that the legislation which provides for the possibility of reducing staff costs in times of recession by applying a "technical unemployment", in which the company would have to pay affected employees 75% of their salary, provided that they remain home, is outdated and probably only a company with bad management would apply it. Instead, there could be created, for example, a formula where the economic agent could reduce for a determined period working time and labor costs by a certain percentage, the state would support the deficit to complete the income of the affected employees, by the reduction of social contributions of the economic agent in this period and redirecting those funds to these employees. In this way a company could overcome certain circumstances, avoiding negative effects on individual employees through layoffs, while also reducing additional efforts of the state with unemployment benefits in unfavorable economic periods.