11. 06. 2018 14:44
Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), the fourth carmaker in Slovakia, hopes to employ less than a third of non-Slovak workers in its new plant in the western Slovak city of Nitra, which will launch its production in September, said JLR's HR head Nicci Cook in an interview for the SME daily. According to her, the company's strategy will be to employ as many people from Slovakia as possible, which is more beneficial to both Jaguar Land Rover as well as to the Slovak economy. Cook could not provide an exact number, as the company does not have a study on this topic.
Apart from Jaguar Land Rover, there are two more carmakers in western Slovakia, Volkswagen in Bratislava and Peugeot-Citroën in Trnava. Moreover, Audi has its plant in the Hungarian city of Győr, less than ten kilometres away from the border with western Slovakia and Kia has its plant in the central Slovak city of Žilina.
In 2017, the Slovak Automotive Industry Association conducted a study, which indicated that by 2021, Slovakia would need 14,000 new employees in the car industry. As Ján Pribula, Secretary General of the Slovak Automotive Industry Association said for the Aktuality.sk website at that time, schools can only provide 4,000 and the remaining number must be made up of requalified workers and by opening up the job market to foreigners.
JLR currently employs over 1,300 people, of which foreigners make up only 3%. By the end of 2020, Jaguar should employ 2,800 people. The largest car producer in Slovakia - Volkswagen - employs almost 14,000 people. As the etrend.sk website wrote in March this year, there were some thirty foreigners from Ukraine and Serbia and 550 employees from its sister Audi Hungarian plant who should however, leave this year.
As the etrend.sk website also wrote in March, VW and its suppliers held a joint meeting with the representatives of the Interior and Labour Ministry. There, the representatives of the Ministries promised to ease up the employing of foreigners also from non-EU countries such as Serbia or Ukraine. Nicci Cook of Jaguar Land Rover said that an agreement on not stealing workers from its competition had not been signed. "If anyone wants to work for us, we cannot prevent it," she said, adding that JLR aims to avoid fights and be a good neighbour with its competition, which would be beneficial for the companies, region and the entire economy.